Quotes About Writing

fountain pen

Image: Vintage Fountain Pen ~ Kriss Szkurlatowski

Before I get into this post, I mentioned in my last post that I’d write a review of the new Star Trek film after I saw it. I posted it earlier at  my other blog if anyone wants to check it out. If you haven’t seen the film yet it contains spoilers, though, so you’ve been warned.

I’m still thinking about what to do with that blog at the moment. I started it to collect my book reviews in one place but I’m finding it hard to read at the moment, so it has stagnated in the interim. For now I’ve decided to turn it into a more general review blog so I can post reviews of music and films… but I’m tempted to close it and just focus on this blog again, including the occasional review here as they’re some of my more well-written posts. I’ll just see how it goes for a while.

Anyway, I have some news as well. I received an award recently from Jonathan Crossfield over at his Copy Write blog. While I took a break from blogging, Jonathan put together a list of the top 50 Australian blogs on writing; I made the list at #14. He used a combination of Technorati and Alexa rankings and page rank to calculate it fairly and it’s a good list. Frankly I’m surprised I made it at all, particularly as I’ve been posting sporadically for the last 12 months. But it made my day and Jonathan was even kind enough to send me a tweet to let me know about it.

It’s actually been good inspiration as I’ve been getting back into my writing again. So far I’m happy with what I’ve written and reading Jonathan’s post, one of the things both he and I agree on is that for writers blogging is a great way to promote and give a better understanding of our work, while also forming part of a larger community. I know I’ve had more people read and comment on my work since I’ve had my blog than in the years before that, including all of my publications. So I guess I’m doing something right!

I thought I’d post some of my favourite quotes about writing to go with the award. Let me know if you have a favourite or have one to share.

* * * * * *

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.
~ Anaïs Nin

Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for.
~ Alice Walker

Literature was not born the day when a boy crying “wolf, wolf!” came running out of the Neanderthal valley with a big gray wolf at his heels; literature was born on the day when a boy came crying “wolf, wolf!” and there was no wolf behind him.
~ Vladimir Nabokov

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.
~ Philip Pullman

What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.
~ Logan Pearsall Smith

I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library.
~ Jorge Luis Borges

To subvert is not the aim of literature. Its value lies in discovering and revealing what is rarely known, little known, thought to be known but in fact not very well known of the truth of the human world. It would seem that truth is the unassailable and most basic quality of literature.
~ Gao Xingjian

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.
~ Ernest Hemingway

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music the words make.
~ Truman Capote

I keep little notepads all over the place to write down ideas as soon as they strike, but the ones that fill up the quickest are always the ones at my nightstand.
~ Emily Logan Decens

Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.
~ Flannery O’Connor

I’m all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let’s start with typewriters.
~ Frank Lloyd Wright

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.
~ Isaac Asimov

Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.
~ Neil Gaiman

Lock up your libraries if you like, but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.
~ Virginia Woolf

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10 thoughts on “Quotes About Writing

  1. Thanx for these! I enjoy quotes and suchlike snippets, especially if they’re about writing, and there are plenty here that i hadn’t come across before – so, perfect. 80)

  2. Hi Mand – glad you enjoyed them! I love quotes and always keep a few of my favourites near where I’m writing for inspiration. There’s so much we can learn from the past – and they always seem to help with the writer’s block! Thanks for stopping by. 😉

  3. On Writing:
    “Well I sort of made it up,” said Pooh. “It comes to me sometimes.”

    “Ah,” said Rabbit, who never let things come to him, but always went and fetched them.

  4. “Writing is a lot like sex. At first you do it because you like it. Then you find yourself doing it for a few close friends and people you like. But if you’re any good at all…you end up doing it for money.”

    Sadly I cannot remember who said this, but it is a good ‘un anyway.

  5. Kerry – I’ve heard that one as well, although I can never remember who said it either. Great quote, though, isn’t it? It always makes me think that we say we write because we love it, and we do, but deep down we all want to make a living from it if we can. But hey, why not? It’s a good gig. 😉


    Mand – Ah, Molière! That’s right. Thanks, you just saved me half an hour of Googling. 🙂 I think Virginia Wolfe said something similar as well, but that might just have be a misattribution. It’s one of my favourite quotes too. I’ll have to include it in one of my next lists.

  6. Hi Minh – unfortunately I’m not sure who made the pen; I know it’s a fountain pen and is very old but the photo is from a stock website, so I can’t tell you much more about it. If you click on the link above you can contact Kriss who took the photo; he might be able to tell you more. It’s a beautiful pen so I’d be interested to know as well; it looks like it has a lot of history to it. Good luck and thanks for stopping by. 😉

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