I love quotes. I've been collecting them for years. There's just something about these compact bits of inspiration or advice that really appeals to me. I collect quotes that speak to me, teach me something, or motivate me in some way. But most of all, I collect quotes that help me feel a little less alone. Hopefully, you'll find something here that makes you feel the same way.


"If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent, whatever that is. Who am I? What right do I have to speak? Who will listen to me if I do? You're a human being, with a unique story to tell, and you have every right. If you speak with passion. Many of us will listen. We need stories to live, all of us. We live by story. Yours enlarges the circle."

    - Richard Rhodes

"Believe in your own identity and your own opinions. Proceed with confidence, generating it, if necessary, by pure willpower. Writing is an act of ego and you might as well admit it. Use it's energy to keep yourself going."

-William Zinsser

"Writing is a very hard thing to do because it covers such a long space of time, and if you get discouraged it is not a bad sign, but a good one. If you think you are not doing it will, you are thinking the way real novelists do. I never knew anyone who did not feel greatly discouraged at times, and some get desperate, and I have always found that to be a good symptom."

                -Maxwell Perkins

"A note: despair at the badness of the book; can't think how I ever could write such stuff, and with such excitement: that's yesterday: today I think it good again. A note, by way of advising other Virginias with other books that this is the way of the thing: up down up down, and Lord know the truth."

 -Virginia Woolf

"The best advice on writing I ever received was: Invent your confidence. When your're trying something new, insecurity and stage fright come with the territory. Many wonderful writers (and other artists) have been plagued by insecurity throughout their professional lives. How could it be otherwise? By its nature, art involves risk. It's not easy, but sometimes one has to invent one's confidence.

My own best advice to young writers is: follow your curiosity and passion. What fascinates you will probably fascinate others. But, even if it doesn't, you will have devoted your life to what you love. An important corollary is that it's no use trying to write like someone else. Discover what's uniquely yours."

                          -Diane Ackerman

"You have to assume that the act of writing is the most important of all. If you start worrying about people's feelings, then you'll get nowhere at all."

                          -Norman Mailer

Be persistent. Editors change; editorial tastes change; markets change. Too many beginning writers give up too easily.

- John Jakes

"Take out another notebook, pick up another pen, and just write, just write, just write. In the middle of the world, make one positive step. In the center of chaos, make one definitive act. Just write. Say yes, stay alive, be awake. Just write. Just write. Just write."

                      -Natalie Goldberg


"Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style."
 -Kurt Vonnegut

"You can write about anything, and if you write well enough, even the reader with no intrinsic interest in the subject will become involved."

                      -Tracy Kidder

"Writers don't write from experience, though many are resistant to admit that they don't. I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you'd get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy."

                      -Nikki Giovanni


"Use your eyes and ears. Think. Read...read...and still read. And then, when you have found your idea, don't be afraid of it, or of your pen and paper; write it down as nearly as possible as you would express it in speech; swiftly, un-self-consciously, without stopping to think about the form of it all. Revise it afterwards, but only afterwards. To stop and think about form in mid-career, while the idea is still in motion is like throwing out your clutch halfway up a hill and having to start in low again. You never get back to your old momentum."

                -David Lambuth

"Don't think and then write it down. Think on paper."

                      -Harry Kemelman

"If you write, good ideas must come welling up into you so that you have something to write. If good ideas do not come at once, or for a long time, do not be troubled at all. Wait for them. Put down little ideas no matter how insignificant they are. But do not feel, any more, guilty about idleness and solitude."

              -Brenda Ueland

"Put your notes away before you begin a draft. What you remember is probably what should be remembered; what you forget is probably what should be forgotten. No matter; you'll have a chance to go back to your notes after the draft is completed. What is important is to achieve a draft which allows the writing to flow."

                      -Donald M. Murray

Rules and Commandments

"A good rule for writers: Do not explain overmuch."

                      -W. Somerset Maugham

"The best rule for writing, as well as for speaking, is to use always the simplest words that will accurately convey your thought."

                      -David Lambuth

"Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade, just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself."

                      -Truman Capote

"There are so many different kinds of writing and so many ways to work that the only rule is this: do what works. Almost everything has been tried and found to succeed for somebody. The methods, even the ideas, of successful writers contradict contradict each other in a most heartening way, and the only element I find common to all successful writers is persistence, an overwhelming determination to succeed."

              -Sophy Burnham

Do you have a favorite quote? Let me know and I will add it here.

I'll talk to you guys soon!