|Submitted by LonelySoul|
The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it.
Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881)
I have made this [letter] longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.
Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662), "Lettres provinciales", letter 16, 1657
All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things.
Bobby Knight (1940 - )Many books require no thought from those who read them, and for a very simple reason; they made no such demand upon those who wrote them.
Charles Caleb Colton (1780 - 1832), Lacon, 1820
An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations.
Charles de Montesquieu (1689 - 1755)
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
Cyril Connolly (1903 - 1974)
Writers should be read, but neither seen nor heard.
Daphne du Maurier (1907 - 1989)
Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803 - 1873), Richelieu
The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.
Please write again soon. Though my own life is filled with activity, letters encourage momentary escape into others lives and I come back to my own with greater contentment.
Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, 'A Woman of Independent Means'
You ask me why I do not write something....I think one's feelings waste themselves in words, they ought all to be distilled into actions and into actions which bring results.
Florence Nightingale (1820 - 1910), in Cecil Woodham-Smith, Florence
Your life story would not make a good book. Don't even try.
Fran Lebowitz (1950 - )
After being Turned Down by numerous Publishers, he had decided to write for Posterity.
George Ade (1866 - 1944), "Fables in Slang", 1899
How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)
I am a galley slave to pen and ink.
Honore de Balzac (1799 - 1850)
The cure for writer's cramp is writer's block.
You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing
but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success - but only if you persist.
Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992)
It is not a bad idea to get in the habit of writing down one's thoughts. It saves one having to bother anyone else with them.
Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it.
I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.
Joan Didion (1934 - )
If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
The tendinous part of the mind, so to speak, is more developed in winter; the fleshy, in summer. I should say winter had given the bone and sinew to literature, summer the tissues and the blood.
John Burroughs (1837 - 1921), The Snow-Walkers
The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would never do anything.
John Irving (1942 - )
Say all you have to say in the fewest possible words, or your reader will be sure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words or he will certainly misunderstand them.
John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment.
Josh Billings (1818 - 1885)
Thus, in a real sense, I am constantly writing autobiography, but I have to turn it into fiction in order to give it credibility.
Katherine Paterson, The Spying Heart, 1989
The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it.
Leo Rosten (1908 - )
Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long.
Leonard Bernstein (1918 - 1990)
Learn as much by writing as by reading.
I take the view, and always have, that if you cannot say what you are going to say in twenty minutes you ought to go away and write a book about it.
Lord Brabazon (1884 - 1964)
I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)
In comparing various authors with one another, I have discovered that some of the gravest and latest writers have transcribed, word for word, from former works, without making acknowledgment.
Pliny the Elder (23 AD - 79 AD), Natural History
There is nothing to write about, you say. Well then, write and let me know just this - that there is nothing to write about; or tell me in the good old style if you are well. That's right. I am quite well.
Pliny the Younger (62 AD - 114 AD), Letters
You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.
Ray Bradbury (1920 - ), advice to writers
At least half the mystery novels published violate the law that the solution, once revealed, must seem to be inevitable.
Raymond Chandler (1888 - 1959)
Good writing takes more than just time; it wants your best moments and the best of you.
Real Live Preacher, RealLivePreacher.com weblog, 10-09-04
I think people want their illusions and writers are mostly illusion. When you read their words, you read a flattened, incomplete version of the writer.
Real Live Preacher, RealLivePreacher.com Weblog, January 05, 2004
This is the challenge of writing. You have to be very emotionally engaged in what you’re doing, or it comes out flat. You can’t fake your way through this.
Real Live Preacher, RealLivePreacher.com Weblog, January 29, 2004
A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
Ring Lardner (1885 - 1933), "How to Write Short Stories"
Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.
Robert Heinlein (1907 - 1988)
Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.
Ronald Reagan (1911 - 2004)
Every journalist has a novel in him, which is an excellent place for it.
The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any.
Russell Baker (1925 - )
I don't think anyone should write their autobiography until after they're dead.
Samuel Goldwyn (1882 - 1974)
Read over your compositions, and wherever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.
Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784), from Boswell's Life of Johnson
Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good.
Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784), (attributed)
There is only one way to defeat the enemy, and that is to write as well as one can. The best argument is an undeniably good book.
Saul Bellow (1915 - )
Reading makes a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626)
I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters.
Advice to writers: Sometimes you just have to stop writing. Even before you begin.
Stanislaw J. Lec (1909 - 1966), "Unkempt Thoughts"
If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write.
Stephen King (1947 - ), On Writing, p. 147
Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.
T. S. Eliot (1888 - 1965)
Why do writers write? Because it isn't there.
A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
Thomas Mann (1875 - 1955)
I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.
Truman Capote (1924 - 1984)
If a writer wrote merely for his time, I would have to break my pen and throw it away.
Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885)
There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965)
We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.
W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965)
The reason why so few good books are written is that so few people who can write know anything.
Walter Bagehot (1826 - 1877)
Vigorous writing is concise.
William Strunk Jr., "The Elements of Style", 1919
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