Writing Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old writing quotes, writing sayings, and writing proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.     

E. L. Doctorow

I do not write for this generation. I am writing for other ages. If this could read me, they would burn my books, the work of my whole life. On the other hand, the generation which interprets these writings will be an educated generation; they will understand me and say: Not all were asleep in the nighttime of our grandparents.     

Jose Rizal

You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.

Saul Bellow

I realized going back and writing and explaining in details the difficulties I had lived actually became emotional again. It's like therapy but sometimes therapy can be painful. But it's part of life and part of the autobiography so I'll have to finish it sooner or later.     

Jenni Rivera

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.     

Anaïs Nin

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 first sentence can't be written until the final sentence is written.

Joyce Carol Oates

It's none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.

Ernest Hemingway

You don't write because you want to say something. You write because you have something to say.     

F. Scott Fitzgerald

If you want to be a writer, you have to write everyday. You don't go to a well once but daily.

Walter Mosley

If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn't matter a damn how you write.     

Somerset Maugham

Surely the whole point of writing your own life story is to be as honest as you possibly can, revealing everything about yourself that is most private and probably most interesting for that very reason.

Judith Krantz

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.

William Wordsworth

A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.

Thomas Mann

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can't allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.     

Elmore Leonard

Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he'll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.     

Ray Bradbury

Writing is always a process of discoveryâ€"I never know the end, or even the events on the next page, until they happen. There's a constant interplay between the imagining and shaping of the story.     

Kim Edwards

It is perfectly okay to write garbageâ€"as long as you edit brilliantly.     

C. J. Cherryh

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.     

W. Somerset Maugham

And as imagination bodies forth the forms of things unknown, the poet's pen turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing a local habitation and a name.     

William Shakespeare

I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter.     

James Michener

You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.

Madeleine L'Engle

Writing criticism is to writing fiction and poetry as hugging the shore is to sailing in the open sea.     

John Updike

Writing is like a 'lust,' or like 'scratching when you itch.' Writing comes as a result of a very strong impulse, and when it does come, I, for one, must get it out.     

C. S. Lewis

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.     

E.L. Doctorow

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

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music that words make.

Truman Capote

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

A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.

Charles Peguy

The writing career is not a romantic one. The writer's life may be colorful, but his work itself is rather drab.

Mary Roberts Rinehart