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50 Writing Quotes to Get You Writing Your Story

Published on January 6, 2020 7:00 AM EST
50 Writing Quotes to Get You Writing Your Story

Since the invention of writing, this creative outlet is one of the most beautiful ways for a person to express themselves. The writing quotes below will inspire you to begin your own writing journey.

Whether we are experiencing a change in our lives, have a story on our mind, or a feeling we need to convey, writing is a chance for you to say what you feel without judgement. You don’t need to be a famous author or publish a book to enjoy the art of this ancient form of expression.

50 Writing Quotes to Get You Writing Your Story

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

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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 

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. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.” ― 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

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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

Writing Quotes on Persistence

21. “Stay faithful to the stories in your head.” ― Paula Hawkins

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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

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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

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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

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 mind 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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