Quotes about Writers and writing

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These are quotes tagged with "writers-and-writing".

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A writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate. Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be understood. The writer wants to be understood much more than he wants to be respected or praised or even loved. And that perhaps, is what makes him different from others.

I am paid by the word, so I always write the shortest words possible.
Whiskey has killed more men than bullets, but most men would rather be full of whiskey than bullets. What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.
The best emotions to write out of are anger and fear or dread. The least energizing emotion to write out of is admiration. It is very difficult to write out of because the basic feeling that goes with admiration is a passive contemplative mood.
A writer is dear and necessary for us only in the measure of which he reveals to us the inner workings of his very soul.
Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are economical in its use.
Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players, and Tennessee Williams has about 5, and Samuel Beckett one -- and maybe a clone of that one. I have 10 or so, and that's a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them.
You can never correct your work well until you have forgotten it.
I love being a writer, what I can't stand is the paperwork.
This morning I took out a comma and this afternoon I put it back in again.
As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I’m not sure that I’m going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says ‘you are nothing,’ I will be a writer.
The hard necessity of bringing the judge on the bench down into the dock has been the peculiar responsibility of the writer in all ages of man.
To endow the writer publicly with a good fleshly body, to reveal that he likes dry white wine and underdone steak, is to make even more miraculous for me, and of a more divine essence, the products of his art. Far from the details of his daily life bringing nearer to me the nature of his inspiration and making it clearer, it is the whole mystical singularity of his condition which the writer emphasizes by such confidences. For I cannot but ascribe to some superhumanly the existence of beings vast enough to wear blue pajamas at the very moment when they manifest themselves as universal conscience.
On the day when a young writer corrects his first proof-sheet he is as proud as a schoolboy who has just got his first dose of pox.
Like all writers, he measured the achievements of others by what they had accomplished, asking of them that they measure him by what he envisaged or planned.
Writers seldom choose as friends those self-contained characters who are never in trouble, never unhappy or ill, never make mistakes, and always count their change when it is handed to them.
Every writing career starts as a personal quest for sainthood, for self-betterment. Sooner or later, and as a rule quite soon, a man discovers that his pen accomplishes a lot more than his soul.
Making a book is a craft, like making a clock; it needs more than native wit to be an author.
The trouble began with Forster. After him it was considered ungentlemanly to write more than five or six novels.
The process of writing has something infinite about it. Even though it is interrupted each night, it is one single notation.
Writing is a dreadful labor, yet not so dreadful as Idleness.
Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand -- a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods -- or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values.
If you want to be a writer-stop talking about it and sit down and write!
The secret of good writing is to say an old thing in a new way or to say a new thing in an old way.
Writing isn't hard. It isn't any harder than ditch-digging.
Writers are always selling somebody out.
The writer isn't made in a vacuum. Writers are witnesses. The reason we need writers is because we need witnesses to this terrifying century.
Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.
Yes, it's hard to write, but it's harder not to.
There are two kinds of writers; the great ones who can give you truths, and the lessor ones, who can only give you themselves.
The first thing an unpublished author should remember is that no one asked him to write in the first place. With this firmly in mind, he has no right to become discouraged just because other people are being published.
If I had not existed, someone else would have written me, Hemingway, Dostoevski, all of us.
The writer's only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the Ode on a Grecian Urn is worth any number of old ladies.
My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky.
The style of an author should be the image of his mind, but the choice and command of language is the fruit of exercise.
If any man wishes to write a clear style, let him first be clear in his thoughts.
The writer probably knows what he meant when he wrote a book, but he should immediately forget what he meant when he's written it.
They're fancy talkers about themselves, writers. If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.

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