Favorite Writing Quotes

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 “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” ~Anton Chekhov

 “The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air.  All I must do is find it, and copy it.”  ~Jules Renard, “Diary,” February 1895

 “Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

 “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”  ~Ray Bradbury

 “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

 “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  ~Toni Morrison

 “It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by.  How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?  For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone.  That is where the writer scores over his fellows:  he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.” ~Vita Sackville-West

 “Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning:  I wanted to know what I was going to say.”  ~Sharon O’Brien

 “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”  ~James Michener

 “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”  ~William Wordsworth

 “The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.”  ~Vladimir Nabakov

 “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”  ~Mark Twain

 “I love writing.  I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.”  ~James Michener

 “Writing, I think, is not apart from living.  Writing is a kind of double living.  The writer experiences everything twice.  Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind.”  ~Catherine Drinker Bowen, Atlantic, December 1957

 “To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music the words make.”  ~Truman Capote, McCall’s, November 1967

 “For me, a page of good prose is where one hears the rain [and] the noise of battle.”  ~John Cheever

 “Writing is easy:  All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”  ~Gene Fowler

 “Write down the thoughts of the moment.  Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.”  ~Francis Bacon

 “When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.”  ~Enrique Jardiel Poncela

 “All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

 “What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.”  ~Burton Rascoe

 “The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”  ~Agatha Christie

 “Writers are not just people who sit down and write.  They hazard themselves.  Every time you compose a book your composition of yourself is at stake.”  ~E.L. Doctorow

 “A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare.  For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure.”  ~Henry David Thoreau

 “You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you.  And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.”  ~Arthur Polotnik