View Full Version : Do you know any inspirational writing quotes

Ruth Barringham
01-16-2007, 01:43 PM
Someone told me in a recent post that they thought the quote in my signiture was inspirational, which is great, because that's why I put it there. I really love inspirational quotes that motivate me to write, write, write and write some more.

Do any of you know of any more? I'd love to hear (read?) them.

01-16-2007, 03:50 PM
My favorite writing quote is from Hemingway: "All first drafts are shit."

01-16-2007, 04:31 PM
"The faster I write the better my output. If I'm going slow, I'm in trouble. It means I'm pushing the words instead of being pulled by them." - Raymond Chandler

01-16-2007, 05:08 PM
Anything in the Learn Writing with Uncle Jim (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6710) thread.

Histry Nerd
01-16-2007, 06:21 PM
"I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning."

--Peter De Vries

I'm not quite there yet, but it's something to shoot for.


01-16-2007, 06:27 PM
I just googled "a writer writes, every day" to see to whom this quote is attributed....it turns out to be everybody. Or everyobody's mentor...

Ruth Barringham
01-17-2007, 01:38 AM
These are great, I especially liked the Hemmingway quote, it made me laugh - but it's so true.

Here's another one I like:

Indecision Kills Greatness - Mike Littman.

01-17-2007, 02:28 AM
"Eschew Surplusage." Mark Twain
"Don't write crap," Harlan Ellison.

Also, the Johnny Hooker quotes in my signature are there because they apply to writing just as smartly as they do to music.

01-17-2007, 05:39 AM
"Never argue with people who buy ink by the gallon." - Tommy Lasorda.

01-17-2007, 05:45 AM
I can't remember who posted this and where, but here you go:


01-17-2007, 05:46 AM
Posted in my office:
"The knowledge is the treasure, and the treasure its own dominion."
-Peter Straub, Shadowland

01-17-2007, 06:27 AM
Irvine Welsh says this in an interview:

"'Writing loads is really important,' he says, 'When people start writing there is this idea that you have to get everything right first time, every sentence has to be perfect, every paragraph has to be perfect, every chapter has to be perfect, but what you're doing is not any kind of public show, until you're ready for it. There is a kind of mysticism to writing. Every kind of book I've written has been written in a different way. There has not been any set time for writing, any set way, I haven't re-invented the process every time but I almost have. I enjoy the freedom of the blank page. You have to respect the mysticism of writing; you're always going to learn things that will work subconsciously and stuff that wont. You can't tear yourself apart with it either. If you become too self-conscious about it, it shows up in the work, so you've got to enjoy it as well.'"

01-17-2007, 08:14 AM
There are many quotes I like and that inspire me directly or indirectly:

If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I'd type a little faster. ~Isaac Asimov

A writer never has a vacation. For a writer's life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.~Eugene Ionesco

Writing is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to those who have none. ~Jules Renard

Writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted. ~Jules Renard

Why do writers write? Because it isn't there.~Thomas Berger

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer. ~Barbara Kingsolver

Observe, don't imitate.~John M. Ford

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. ~Elbert Hubbard

Never let inexperience get in the way of ambition. ~Terry Josephson

Half of being smart is knowing what you're dumb at. ~David Gerrold

Anybody can become a writer, but the trick is to STAY a writer.~Harlan Ellison

01-17-2007, 09:39 AM
I'm not sure this is inspirational, but a great little book of quotes on writing is Writers On Writing by Jon Winokur. Clever, occasionally insightful, and very funny.

01-17-2007, 09:56 AM
I can't remember who here on AW shared this first (I'm so sorry - the brain just doesn't work as well as it used to) but it's attributed to Richard Rhodes.

If writing a book is impossible, write a chapter. If writing a chapter is impossible, write a page. If writing a page is impossible, write a paragraph. If writing a paragraph is impossible, write a sentence. If writing a sentence is impossible, write a word and teach yourself everything there is to know about that word and then write another, connected word and see where the connection leads.

I need to take that advice more often than I do.

01-17-2007, 05:51 PM
Apropos of first drafts, "Don't write it right -- write it down."