Since the invention of writing, this creative outlet has been one of the most beautiful ways for a person to express themselves, as you’ll see in the writing quotes below.
Whether we are experiencing a change in our lives, have a story on our minds, or have a feeling we need to convey, writing is a chance for us to say what we feel without judgment.
You don’t need to be a famous author or publish a book to enjoy the art of this ancient form of expression.
Writing has given us the ability to relate to others, say what we cannot say, and learn about topics that we may have otherwise not experienced for ourselves.
Writing can take you to another place, another time, and another space.
Without writing, we would not have the amazing stories we have today, passed down from ages ago.
If you’ve been experiencing some writer’s block lately, then these writing quotes can help.
Writing Quotes For Beginners
1. “Write while the heat is in you. … The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.” — Henry David Thoreau
2. “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent, he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” — Harper Lee
3. “Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves.” ― Alan W. Watts
4. “If you want to be a writer-stop talking about it and sit down and write!” ― Jackie Collins
5. “You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually, you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” ― Octavia Butler
Writing Quotes to Help you Create your Best Work
6. “I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.” — Robert Louis Stevenson
7. “You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.” — Annie Proulx
8. “First, forget inspiration; habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories.” ― Octavia Butler
9. “It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
10. “Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then, when you hit puberty, they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.” ― Hugh MacLeod
11. “Everybody is talented because everybody who is human has something to express.” ― Brenda Ueland
12. “The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon.” ― Robert Cormier
13. “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then, see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” — Ray Bradbury
Writing Quotes about Editing
14. “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” ― Jodi Picoult
15. “When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.” — Stephen King (see more Stephen King quotes and sayings)
16. “Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” — Franz Kafka (see more quotes from Franz Kafka)
17. “Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” ― William Faulkner
18. “The first draft of anything is shit.” ― Ernest Hemingway
19. “If the word doesn’t exist, invent it; but first be sure it doesn’t exist.” ― Charles Baudelaire
20. “Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.” ― Hunter S. Thompson
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to check out our collection of Hunter S. Thompson quotes from journalist and author.
Writing Quotes on Persistence
21. “Stay faithful to the stories in your head.” ― Paula Hawkins
22. “You fail only if you stop writing.” ― Ray Bradbury
23. “A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.” ― Anthony Trollope
24. “You either have to write or you shouldn’t be writing. That’s all.” ― Joss Whedon
25. “Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” ― Flannery O’Connor
26. “Focus more on your desire than on your doubt, and the dream will take care of itself.” ― Mark Twain
27. “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” — Richard Bach
28. “The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.” — Ernest Hemingway
Writing Quotes on Why You Should Write
29. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou
30. “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” ― Anaïs Nin
31. “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ― Toni Morrison
32. “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ― Benjamin Franklin
33. “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” ― Albert Camus
34. “Why did I write? Because I found life unsatisfactory.” ― Tennessee Williams
35. “Ideas aren’t magical; the only tricky part is holding on to one long enough to get it written down. ” ― Lynn Abbey
36. “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” ― Martin Luther
37. “If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.” ― George Orwell
38. “I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.” – Isaac Asimov
39. “If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.” — Peter Handke
Writing Quotes on How to Write
40. “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ― Stephen King
41. “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” ― Thomas Jefferson
42. “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” ― W. Somerset Maugham
43. “Indeed, learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.” ― Eudora Welty
44. “Concentrate on what you want to say to yourself and your friends. Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. You say what you want to say when you don’t care who’s listening.” ― Allen Ginsberg
45. “To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man.” ― Aristotle
46. “If a writer stops observing he is finished. Experience is communicated by small details intimately observed.” ― Ernest Hemingway
47. “Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything good.” ― William Faulkner
48. “The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always.” ― Arthur Miller
49. “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” ― Robert Frost
50. “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” — Larry L. King
More writing quotes and sayings
51. “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” ― Louis L’Amour
52. “There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” ― Frank Herbert
53. “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” ― Thomas Mann
54. “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” ― William Wordsworth
55. “There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.” ― Beatrix Potter
56. “A word after a word after a word is power.” ― Margaret Atwood
57. “A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.” ― Roald Dahl
58. “Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” ― Gloria Steinem
59. “Writing is like breathing, it’s possible to learn to do it well, but the point is to do it no matter what.” ― Julia Cameron
More Writing Quotes for your next Essay
60. “Writing is like making love. Don’t worry about the orgasm, just concentrate on the process.” ― Isabel Allende
61. “Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.” ― Lisa See
62. “If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.” ― Wally Lamb
63. “I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.” ― William Carlos Williams
64. “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” ― Virginia Woolf
65. “Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” ― Orson Scott
66. “People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.” ― R.L. Stine
67. “I believe myself that a good writer doesn’t really need to be told anything except to keep at it.” ― Chinua Achebe
68. “The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.” ― Steven Pressfield
69. “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” ― Anne Frank
70. “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ― Sylvia Plath
Writing Quotes and Sayings By Famous Authors
71. “It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.” — Robert Benchley
72. “One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or ten pages no matter what and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.” — Lawrence Block
73. “I’ve always believed in writing without a collaborator because where two people are writing the same book, each believes he gets all the worry and only half the royalties.” — Agatha Christie
74. “I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.” — Stephen King
75. “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.” — Isaac Asimov
76. “Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.” — Ray Bradbury
77. “I always wrote. I wrote from when I was 12. That was therapeutic for me in those days. I wrote things to get them out of feeling them and onto paper. So writing in a way saved me, kept me company.” — Carrie Fisher
78. “As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.” ― Ernest Hemingway
79. “Write something that’s worth fighting over. Because that’s how you change things. That’s how you create art.” — Jeff Goins
80. “This is how you do it: You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” — Neil Gaiman
More quotes to get your writing juices flowing
81. “To defend what you’ve written is a sign that you are alive.” — William Zinsser
82. “Words can be like x-rays if you use them properly—they’ll go through anything. You read, and you’re pierced.” — Aldous Huxley
83. “Writing is easy. Just sit down and open a vein.” — Red Barber
84. “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” — Stephen King
85. “You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” — Saul Bellow
86. “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” — Ernest Hemingway
87. “Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got.” — Philip José Farmer
88. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” — Jack London
89. “All readers come to fiction as willing accomplices to your lies. Such is the basic goodwill contract made the moment we pick up a work of fiction.” — Steve Almond
90. “Everybody else is working to change, persuade, tempt, and control them. The best readers come to fiction to be free of all that noise.” — Philip Roth
Which of these writing quotes resonated with you best?
Remember, writing can be a profession, but it can also just be a fun hobby to enjoy in your free time.
You can write in a journal, you can write a letter, you can write a story, or you can write a poem.
There’s no wrong way to go about it.
That being said, sometimes people feel self-conscious or hesitant to write what’s on their minds and in their hearts.
But it’s important to never give up or listen to what others think.
These writing quotes, which come from some of history’s greatest wordsmiths, can help you inspire you to begin your own writing journey.
What’s your biggest takeaway from these writing quotes and sayings?
Do you have any other favorite quotes to add?
Let us know in the comment section below.
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