Quotes for Writing Practice

All of us need motivation, especially when we are stuck… Yeah, that dreadful ‘Writer’s Block’. Well here are some quotes from fellow authors that keep me motivated.

“I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.”
Ray Bradbury

“If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, films, novels, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed quickly, to trap them before the escape.”
Ray Bradbury

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”
William Faulkner

“Know your literary tradition, savor it, steal from it, but when you sit down to write, forget about worshiping greatness and fetishizing masterpieces.”
Allegra Goodman

“People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re going to do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.”
R.L. Stine

“I always start writing with a clean piece of paper and a dirty mind.”
Patrick Dennis

“The best thing is to write anything, anything at all that comes into your head, until gradually there is a calm and creative day.”
Stephen Spender

“Every idea is my last. I feel sure of it. So I try to do the best with each as it comes and that’s where my responsibility ends. But I just don’t wait for ideas. I look for them. Constantly. If I don’t use the ideas that I find, they’re going to quit showing up.”
Peg Bracken

“I think the best thing any writer can do is keep a journal. During writer’s block, your journal is invaluable. Write to yourself about being blocked. Explain to yourself the feelings of frustration you are feeling, or the anger you are having with your talent for letting you down. Describe to yourself the chapter or scene you are writing you are writing: who the characters are and where you are trying to get to in the chapter or scene. Write about it. Believe me, it will start to come, right there in your journal.”
Dominick Dunne

“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.”
Henry David Thoreau

“Don’t think and then write it down. Think on paper.”
Henry Kemelman

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
Jack London

“I like to say that there are three things that are required for success as a writer: talent, luck, discipline. Discipline is the one that you have to focus on controlling, and you just have to hope and trust in the other two.”
Michael Chabon

“I do a great deal of research. I don’t want anyone to say, ‘That could not have happened.’ It may be fiction, but it has to be true.”
Jacquelyn Mitchard

“It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer. Those who do not do this remain amateurs.”
Gerald Brenan

“If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent, whatever that is. Who am I? What right do I have to speak? Who will listen to me if I do? You’re a human being, with a unique story to tell, and you have every right. If you speak with passion, many of us will listen. We need stories to live, all of us. We live by story. Yours enlarges the circle.”
Richard Rhodes

“We have to accept ourselves in order to write. Now none of us does that fully: few of us do it even halfway. Don’t wait for one hundred percent acceptance of yourself before you write, or even eight percent acceptance. Just write. The process of writing is an activity that teaches us about acceptance.”
Natalie Goldburg

“If you write only when you are ‘in the mood,’ or when you ‘have some time,’ you will never be able to write enough material to see what you are good at, what needs work. Good writers write whether they are in the mood or not. They practice whether they feel like it or not. It’s the only way. Everyday practice. That’s how you get better.”
Heather Sellers

“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.”
Les Brown

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

Ernest Hemingway

“It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer. Those who do not remain amateurs.”
Gerald Brenan

“Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.”
Ray Bradbury

“Learn to write by doing it. Read widely and wisely. Increase your word power. Find your own individual voice though practicing constantly. Go through the world with your eyes and ears open and learn to express that experience in words.”
P.D. James

“Write. Start writing today. Start writing right now. Don’t write it right, just write it –and then make it right later. Give yourself the mental freedom to enjoy the process, because the process of writing is a long one. Be wary of “writing rules” and advice. Do it your way.”
Tara Moss

“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know no shortcuts.”
Larry L. King

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”
Stephen King

“Sometimes people say to me, “I want to write, but I have five kids, a full-time job, a wife who beats me, a tremendous debt to my parents,” and so on. I say to them, “There is no excuse. If you want to write, write. This is your life. You are responsible for it. You will not live forever. Don’t wait. Make the time now, even if it is ten minutes once a week.”
Natalie Goldberg

“You can’t say, I won’t write today because that excuse will extend into several days, then several months, then… you are not a writer anymore, just someone who dreams about being a writer.”
Dorothy C. Fontan

“Beginning a novel is always hard. It feels like going nowhere. I always have to write at least 100 pages that go into the trashcan before it finally begins to work. It’s discouraging, but necessary to write those pages. I try to consider them pages -100 to zero of the novel.”
Barbara Kingsolver

“You will want to avoid writing. All writers struggle with procrastination, writer’s block, distraction, or laziness. All successful writers develop strategies to deal with these issues. Conquering not-writing is probably half the battle.”
Heather Sellers

“This is our life and it’s not going to last forever. There isn’t time to talk about someday writing that short story or poem or novel. Slow down now, touch what is around you, and out of care and compassion for each moment and detail, put pen to paper and begin to write.”
Natalie Goldberg

“Either marry your work – take it seriously and do it every day – or date it – write only when you feel like it – but know which you are doing and the repercussions of both.”
Anonymous

“It’s a job, not a hobby. You don’t write the way you build a model airplane. You have to sit down and work, to schedule your time and stick with it. Even if it’s just for an hour or so each day, you have to get a babysitter and make the time. If you’re going to make writing succeed, you have to approach it as a job.”
Rosellen Brown

“One of the few things I know about writing is this: Spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book. Give it, give it all, give it now.”
Annie Dillard

“It is better to write a bad first draft than to write no draft at all.”
Will Shetterly

And now for the one that is often used to get me back on track whenever I need to scold myself – In the words of Natalie Goldberg, “Finally, one just has to shut up, sit down, and write.”

 

Do let me know which one is your favourite and help me add to the list 🙂 The more the merrier. 

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4 thoughts on “Quotes for Writing Practice

  1. Here’s one of my own:

    ‘Sealing the wound now would be better than concealing it with the bandage of untruth.

    (From: “Lovers’ Rock”)

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An Aspiring Writer