Writers and writing Quotes

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To write is to make oneself the echo of what cannot cease speaking -- and since it cannot, in order to become its echo I have, in a way, to silence it. I bring to this incessant speech the decisiveness, the authority of my own silence.

Every writer creates his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future.
But this I know; the writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master -- something that at times strangely wills and works for itself. If the result be attractive, the World will praise you, who little deserve praise; if it be repulsive, the same World will blame you, who almost as little deserve blame.
Writers are the main landmarks of the past.
Nothing so fretful, so despicable as a Scribbler, see what I am, and what a parcel of Scoundrels I have brought about my ears, and what language I have been obliged to treat them with to deal with them in their own way; -- all this comes of Authorship.
In general I do not draw well with literary men -- not that I dislike them but I never know what to say to them after I have praised their last publication.
To note an artist's limitations is but to define his talent. A reporter can write equally well about everything that is presented to his view, but a creative writer can do his best only with what lies within the range and character of his deepest sympathies.
There is something about the literary life that repels me, all this desperate building of castles on cobwebs, the long-drawn acrimonious struggle to make something important which we all know will be gone forever in a few years, the miasma of failure which is to me almost as offensive as the cheap gaudiness of popular success.
The task of an American writer is not to describe the misgivings of a woman taken in adultery as she looks out of a window at the rain but to describe four hundred people under the lights reaching for a foul ball. This is ceremony.
Who often, but without success, have prayed for apt Alliteration's artful aid.
Nothing contributes to the entertainment of the reader more, than the change of times and the vicissitudes of fortune.
The writer who loses his self-doubt, who gives way as he grows old to a sudden euphoria, to prolixity, should stop writing immediately: the time has come for him to lay aside his pen.
To write what is worth publishing, to find honest people to publish it, and get sensible people to read it, are the three great difficulties in being an author.
The society of dead authors has this advantage over that of the living: they never flatter us to our faces, nor slander us behind our backs, nor intrude upon our privacy, nor quit their shelves until we take them down.
Justice to my readers compels me to admit that I write because I have nothing to do; justice to myself induces me to add that I will cease to write the moment I have nothing to say.
A great writer creates a world of his own and his readers are proud to live in it. A lesser writer may entice them in for a moment, but soon he will watch them filing out.
When writers meet they are truculent, indifferent, or over-polite. Then comes the inevitable moment. A shows B that he has read something of B s. Will B show A? If not, then A hates B, if yes, then all is well. The only other way for writers to meet is to share a quick pee over a common lamp-post.
In most cases a favorite writer is more with us in his book than he ever could have been in the flesh; since, being a writer, he is one who has studied and perfected this particular mode of personal incarnation, very likely to the detriment of any other. I should like as a matter of curiosity to see and hear for a moment the men whose works I admire; but I should hardly expect to find further intercourse particularly profitable.
Let authors write for glory and reward. The truth is well paid when she is sung and heard.
There are hardly half a dozen writers in England today who have not sold out to the enemy. Even when their good work has been a success, Mammon grips them and whispers: More money for more work.
Herman Melville was as separated from a civilized literature as the lost Atlantis was said to have been from the great peoples of the earth.
To write is a humiliation.
What has a writer to be bombastic about? Whatever good a man may write is the consequence of accident, luck, or surprise, and nobody is more surprised than an honest writer when he makes a good phrase or says something truthful.
Writing is conscience, scruple, and the farming of our ancestors.
I think of an author as somebody who goes into the marketplace and puts down his rug and says, I will tell you a story, and then he passes the hat.
An author who speaks about his own books is almost as bad as a mother who talks about her own children.
Writing is turning one's worst moments into money.
The first essential in writing about anything is that the writer should have no experience of the matter.
Of the creative spirits that flourished in Concord, Massachusetts, during the middle of the nineteenth century, it might be said that Hawthorne loved men but felt estranged from them, Emerson loved ideas even more than men, and Thoreau loved himself.
I have the conviction that excessive literary production is a social offence.
Writing a novel without being asked seems a bit like having a baby when you have nowhere to live.
There is no luck in literary reputation. They who make up the final verdict upon every book are not the partial and noisy readers of the hour when it appears; but a court as of angels, a public not to be bribed, not to be entreated, and not to be overawed, decides upon every man's title to fame.
A pathological business, writing, don't you think? Just look what a writer actually does: all that unnatural tense squatting and hunching, all those rituals: pathological!
If you wish to be a writer; write!
Mr. Faulkner, of course, is interested in making your mind rather than your flesh creep.
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.
Creative writers are always greater than the causes that they represent.
Our work is to present things that are as they are.
The walls are the publishers of the poor.
It has always been my practice to cast a long paragraph in a single mould, to try it by my ear, to deposit it in my memory, but to suspend the action of the pen till I had given the last polish to my work.