You’re looking for inspiration, aren’t you? You’re looking for someone who will tell you how to write or even why you should write or not. Well, we have ten amazing quotes about writing form ten amazing authors that will blow your wind. Accept advice from some of the most brilliant minds that ever existed.
10. James Joyce
“The important thing is not what we write, but how we write, and in my opinion the modern writer must be an adventurer above all, willing to take every risk, and be prepared to founder in his effort if need be. In other words we must write dangerously” He’s also bragged about putting “so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality.”
9. Charles Bukowski
Bukovski may be a lot of things, but one thing that many people don’t know about him is that he was extremely disciplined when it came to writing – it was a true pleasure for him and it never felt like a chore; he would write every night while drinking, after working all day. In his poem So You Want To Be A Writer he says this: “If it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it. Unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don’t do it. If you have to sit for hours staring at your computer screen or hunched over your typewriter searching for words, don’t do it. […] If it’s hard work just thinking about doing it, don’t do it. […] If it never does roar out of you, do something else.”
8. Henry Miller
Henry Miller was a disciplined writer. He had eleven commandments he thought every writer should live by. Some of them are: “Work on one thing at a time until finished”, “Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!”, “Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it” and “Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards”.
7. Anaïs Nin
“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” The author, Anaïs Nin, just like Bukowski, believed that what comes out of you through writing should have meaning, hurt and not be dull. Nin loathed dullness: “You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken”
6. Herman Melville
A short but inspiring quote by Herman Melville “To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme” – and what greater theme than the Sea? For further inspiration, an extract of one of the most exquisite pieces of literature ever writen: “Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off — then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball.”
5. Joyce Carol Oates
One of the most prolific American authors, Joyce Carol Oates offered tips on writing on Twitter! Some of them include: “Write your heart out”, “Don’t try to anticipate an ideal reader — or any reader. He/she might exist — but is reading someone else”, “You are writing for your contemporaries — not for Posterity. If you are lucky, your contemporaries will become Posterity” and “The first sentence can be written only after the last sentence has been written. FIRST DRAFTS ARE HELL. FINAL DRAFTS, PARADISE”
4. Ernest Hemingway
Just as Toni Morrison, Hemingway preferred to write in the earliest hours of the morning. “When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.”
3. Vladimir Nabokov
“Literature is invention. Fiction is fiction. To call a story a true story is an insult to both art and truth. Every great writer is a great deceiver, but so is that arch-cheat Nature. Nature always deceives. From the simple deception of propagation to the prodigiously sophisticated illusion of protective colors in butterflies or birds, there is in Nature a marvelous system of spells and wiles. The writer of fiction only follows Nature’s lead.”
2. Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut had eight rules he lived by and urged people who wanted to write to also follow them. Three of these are: “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia”, “Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water” and also “Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of” Amazing quotes about writing from an amazing author!
1. Toni Morrison
“Writing before dawn began as a necessity—I had small children when I first began to write and I needed to use the time before they said, Mama—and that was always around five in the morning. […] I was involved in writing Beloved at that time—this was in 1983—and eventually I realized that I was clearer-headed, more confident and generally more intelligent in the morning. The habit of getting up early, which I had formed when the children were young, now became my choice. I am not very bright or very witty or very inventive after the sun goes down.”
What did you think about these amazing quotes about writing from these amazing authors? Do you feel a little bit more inspired? Did any of these stuck with you? Drop us a line and tell us what you think!