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50 Inspiring Quotes about Writing by Successful Writers

Updated on May 9, 2014

Do you love to write but dread to sit down to do it?

Writing is a lifestyle, a lonely journey that requires an enormous amount of courage to sail through.

People only hear about the success of successful writers. What they don’t see is the untold story of struggles and challenges a writer had to endure before getting to the level of achievement that the media proclaim on them.

One of the helpful tools most writers use to nudge themselves to work harder, and increase productivity is reading success stories of fellow writers, including quotes about writing.

As a blogger and freelance writer, reading through quotations about writing has always been a great source of inspiration to me. Each time I feel like giving up on a writing project, I turn to writing quotes for motivation.

A great revelation I discovered as a result of reading quotes by writers is that they – great and successful writers -- all struggle with their writing. But they have their ways of pushing themselves to get their writings done despite the challenges that show up along the way.

So, whenever you feel like giving up on your writing project, turn to this hub for inspiration.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a fiction or non-fiction writer, freelance writer, blogger, or poet, these inspiring quotes about writing will help rekindle the writing zeal in you.

50 Inspiring Quotes about Writing by Successful Writers

(1) “10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer

Write more.

Write even more.

Write even more than that.

Write when you don’t want to.

Write when you do.

Write when you have something to say.

Write when you don’t.

Write every day.

Keep writing.” ― Brian Clark

(2) “If you want to be a writer — stop talking about it and sit down and write!” – Jackie Collins

(3) “The secret of it all is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood of the moment–to put things down without deliberation–without worrying about their style–without waiting for a fit time or place. I always worked that way. I took the first scrap of paper, the first doorstep, the first desk, and wrote–wrote, wrote…By writing at the instant, the very heartbeat of life is caught.” -- Walt Whitman

(4) “You don't write because you want to say something: You write because you've got something to say.” -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

(5) “I write for the same reason I breathe — because if I didn't, I would die.” -- Isaac Asimov

(6) “Only amateurs say that they write for their own amusement. Writing is not an amusing occupation. It is a combination of ditch-digging, mountain-climbing, treadmill and childbirth. Writing may be interesting, absorbing, exhilarating, racking, relieving. But amusing? Never!” -- Edna Ferber

(7) Write drunk; edit sober.” -- Ernest Hemingway

(8) “The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar, familiar things new.” -- William Makepeace Thackeray

(9) “I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living.” ― Anne Morrow Lindbergh

(10) “Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.” -- Jane Yolen

(11) “Writing is like having sex. The people who never shut up about doing it are usually the ones who don't know what the hell they're doing.” ― Greg Sisco

(12) “Writing a book is a tremendous experience. It pays off intellectually. It clarifies your thinking. It builds credibility. It is a living engine of marketing and idea spreading, working every day to deliver your message with authority. You should write one.” -- Seth Godin

(13) “Sometimes, as much as writing saves one’s own life, you cannot imagine how it will save another’s. This is another reason why it is important to do the work, over and over again. It is food, the kind a soul needs.” ― Lilith Saintcrow

(14) “Of all human activities, writing is the one for which it is easiest to find excuses not to begin – the desk’s too big, the desk’s too small, there’s too much noise, there’s too much quiet, it’s too hot, too cold, too early, too late. I had learned over the years to ignore them all, and simply to start.” ― Robert Harris

(15) “If you want to be a writer — stop talking about it and sit down and write!” – Jackie Collins

(16) “Writing and reading are the only ways to find your voice. It won't magically burst forth in your poems the next time you sit down to write, or the next; but little by little, as you become aware of more choices and begin to make them -- consciously and unconsciously -- your style will develop.” ― Dorianne Laux

(17) “In every fat book there is a thin book trying to get out.” -- Unknown wise reader

(18) “Writers are the engineers of human souls.” -- Joseph Stalin

(19) “Writing is really just a matter of writing a lot, writing consistently and having faith that you'll continue to get better and better. Sometimes, people think that if they don't display great talent and have some success right away, they won't succeed. But writing is about struggling through and learning and finding out what it is about writing itself that you really love.” ― Laura Kasischke

(20) “I read anything that’s going to be interesting. But you don’t know what it is until you’ve read it. Somewhere in a book on the history of false teeth there’ll be the making of a novel.” ― Terry Pratchett

(21) “Life cannot defeat a writer who is in love with writing - for life itself is a writer's love until death.” -- Edna Ferber

(22) “The life of a writer is tragic: the more we advance, the farther there is to go and the more there is to say, the less time there is to say it.” -- Gabrielle Roy

(23) “Everything in life is a story just waiting to be written.” ― M.G. Marsh

(24) “I don't want to analyze myself or anything, but I think, in fact I know this to be true, that I enter the world through what I write. I grew up believing, and continue to believe, that I am a screw-up, that growing up with my family and friends, I had nothing to offer in any conversation. But when I started writing, suddenly there was something that I brought to the party that was at a high-enough level.” ― Aaron Sorkin

(25) “I'm an aspiring writer.' I hate that phrase. You're either a writer or you're not.” ― Jake Black

(26) “I don't believe in writing anything that I don't know about or haven't researched about personally. I like to transport the reader to places, and in order to do that I have to do the research.” -- Jackie Collins

(27) “It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up, because by that time I was too famous.” -- Robert Benchley

(28) “A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.” -- Richard Bach

(29) “At painful times, when composition is impossible and reading is not enough, grammar and dictionaries are excellent for distraction.” -- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

(30) “Usually, when people get to the end of a chapter, they close the book and go to sleep. I deliberately write my books so when the reader gets to the end of a chapter, he or she must turn one more page. When people tell me I've kept them up all night, I feel like I've succeeded!” -- Sidney Sheldon

(31) “Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.” -- William Strunk

(32) “The business of writing is one of the four or five most private things in the world.” -- Ethel Wilson

(33) “If you dedicate your attention to discipline in your life you become smarter while you are writing than while you are hanging out with your pals or in any other line of work.” ― Russell Banks

(34) “The process of writing a book is infinitely more important than the book that is completed as a result of the writing, let alone the success or failure that book may have after it is written . . . the book is merely a symbol of the writing. In writing the book, I am living. I am growing. I am tapping myself. I am changing. The process is the product.” -- Theodore Isaac Rubin

(35) “Anybody can write a three-volume novel. It merely requires a complete ignorance of both life and literature.” -- Oscar Wilde

(36) “Words and sentences are subjects of revision; paragraphs and whole compositions are subjects of prevision.” -- Barrett Wendell

(37) “If a man means his writing seriously, he must mean to write well. But how can he write well until he learns to see what he has written badly. His progress toward good writing and his recognition of bad writing are bound to unfold at something like the same rate.” --- John Ciardi

(38) “The best effect of any book is that it excites the reader to self-activity.” -- Thomas Carlyle

(39) “If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work, you should acquire a cat. Alone with the cat in the room where you work ... the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle placidly under the desk lamp. The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding.

And the tranquility of the cat will gradually come to affect you, sitting there at your desk, so that all the excitable qualities that impede your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost. You need not watch the cat all the time. Its presence alone is enough. The effect of a cat on your concentration is remarkable, very mysterious.” ― Muriel Spark

(40) “Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends and society are the natural enemies of a writer. He must be alone, uninterrupted and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking.” -- Laurence Clark Powell

(41) “If you don't write when you don't have time for it, you won't write when you do have time for it.” ― Katerina Stoykova Klemer

(42) “If you can't annoy somebody, there is no point in writing.” -- Kingsley Amis

(43) “There is probably no hell for authors in the next world — they suffer so much from critics and publishers in this.” -- C. N. Bovee

(44) “There are three difficulties in authorship: to write anything worth publishing, to find honest men to publish it, and to get sensible men to read it.” -- C. C. Colton

(45) “Live never to be ashamed if anything you do or say is published around the world — even if what is published is not true.” -- Richard Bach

(46) “A painter can hang his pictures, but a writer can only hang himself.” -- Edward Dahlberg

(47) “When one has no particular talent for anything, one takes to the pen.” -- Honoré de Balzac

(48) “No man understands a deep book until he has seen and lived at least part of its contents.” -- Ezra Pound

(49) “Every writer, without exception, is a masochist, a sadist, a peeping Tom, an exhibitionist, a narcissist, an injustice collector and a depressed person constantly haunted by fears of unproductivity.” -- Edmund Bergler

(50) “Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.” -- Henry David Thorea

The Easiest Way to Inspire and Motivate Yourself to Write More

If you have a day when things are not moving according to your plan, or you’re not inspired to do any writing, simply reach for this hub and study a couple of quotes. Chances are, you’ll come across a quote that resonates with the situation you’re going through, and become motivated to get back on track again. This has happened to me countless of times. Give it a try to see how it will work for you.

There's a Kindle ebook version of this hub. It's entitled 1000+ quotes about writing by great and successful writers. The title says it all. The writing quotes in the Kindle book is about 1040. For those who prefer a pdf ebook format, you'll find this one handy. Check it out right here.

Do You Have a Writer Friend or Buddy?

If you loved this collection of quotes about writing, please ensure that you share this hub with your followers and loved ones. Additionally, if you have a quote about writing that you’ve fell in love with, kindly take the time and share it with us in the comment box.

To your writing success.


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    • Stephen Austen profile image

      S P Austen 

      2 years ago from Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada

      Excellent and well researched article, with some very very true quotes.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      4 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I enjoyed your quotes. I, too, am a collector of quotes. You found some gems.

    • ajagbe4best profile imageAUTHOR

      Sikiru Saeed 

      5 years ago from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

      Thanks for taking the time to read the article, and to leave a comment. It truly appreciate it.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      great much truth in those is true that to be a writer you have to simply sit down and write. To be a great writer you have to write a lot. I did enjoy the "write drunk, edit sober" quote the best. It's nice to see some different personalities coming out through the quotes.


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