(Even More) Quotes to Inspire and Guide You1:17 PM
Like most writers, I am a voracious reader, and I am always writing down my favorite quotes. So, as you can imagine, I've collected quite a few over the years. I've shared some of my favorites here on the blog before. You can find them here, and here, if you care to look.
For this week, I've pulled together another collection of quotes that I love. Some provide helpful tips and advice but I also love the ones that let us know that, as writers, we're not alone. That other writers go through the same things we do. That they experience the same insecurities and fears we do.
So, here we go!
"The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book."
- Samuel Johnson
"Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know no shortcuts."
- Larry L. King
"Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries and predecessors. Try to be better than yourself."
- William Faulkner
"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 going to 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
"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
"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
"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
"Know your literary tradition, savor it, steal from it, but when you sit down to write, forget about worshiping greatness and fetishizing masterpieces."
- Allegra Goodman
"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 then I can always tear them up and the following morning if I want. I'l have lost nothing. Writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off."
- Lawrence Block
"Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others."
- Virginia Woolf
"It is perfectly okay to write garbage. As long as you edit brilliantly."
- C.J. Cherryh
"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you."
- Ray Bradbury
"You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great."
- Les Brown
"It is better to write a bad first draft than to write no draft at all."
- Will Shetterly
"The best rule for writing, as well as for speaking, is to use always use the simplest words that will accurately convey your thoughts."
- David Lambuth
"There are simple maxims... which I think might be commended to writers of expository prose. First: never use a long word when a short word will do. Second: if you want to make a statement with a great many qualifications, put some of the qualifications in separate sentences. Third: do not let the beginning of your sentence lead the readers to an expectation which is contradicted by the end."
- Bertrand Russell
"The hardest thing about writing is, in a sense, is not writing. I mean, the sentence is not intended to show you off, you know. It is not supposed to be 'Look at me!' 'Look, no hands!' It's supposed to be a pipeline between the reader and you. One condition of the sentence is to write so well that no one notices that you're writing."
- James Baldwin
"If you find a lot of explaining is necessary, something is wrong your material or your approach to it."
- James Gould Cozzens
"You can't tell or show everything in the compass of a book. If you try to show or tell everything, your reader will die of boredom before the end of the first page. You must, therefore, ask yourself what is the core of the matter you wish to communicate to your reader? Having decided on the core of the matter, all that you tell him must relate to it and illustrate it more and more vividly."
- Morris L. West
"Begin with something interesting rather than something boring; begin with action rather than beginning with background information; speak about the characters after they have appeared rather than having them appear after having having spoken about them."
- Alexandre Dumas Pere
"The best thing is to write anything, anything at all that comes into your head, until gradually there is a calm and creative day."
- Stephen Spender
"I think the best thing any writer can do is keep a journal. During writer's block, your journal is invaluable. Write to yourself about being blocked. Explain to yourself the feelings of frustration you are feeling, or the anger you are having with your talent for letting you down. Describe to yourself the chapter or scene you are writing you are writing: who the characters are and where you are trying to get to in the chapter or scene. Write about it. Believe me, it will start to come, right there in your journal."
- Dominick Dunne
Well, that's it for this week! Do you have a favorite quote? Let me know and I'll add it to the post.
Have a great day everyone and I'll see you next week!