28 Quotes About Writing You Need To Hear if You Didn’t Make $20k in Your First Month as a Writer

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Because you didn’t. (Neither did I.)

But that’s okay, that doesn’t mean you failed. You just might need a bit of inspiration.

For me, the best writing inspiration is reading. And I especially like reading about writing. (Which is why I read that article about buddy making a hundred grand a year.)

Here are some of my favourite writing quotes. They’re little gems that never fail to get me feeling motivated.

They span the themes of planning a piece, the act of writing, writing difficulties, editing, and the power of writing.

On Choosing a Theme

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. — Toni Morrison

You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children. — Madeleine L’Engle

To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. — Herman Melville

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. — Benjamin Franklin

Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. — Barbara Kingsolver

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes. — Agatha Christie

On the Act of Writing

If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write. — Somerset Maugham

People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it. — Harlan Ellison

Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money . — Virginia Woolf

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards. — Robert A. Heinlein

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

On the Difficulty of Writing

A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it to be God. — Sidney Sheldon

I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within. — Gustave Flaubert

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good. — William Faulkner

There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write. — Terry Pratchett

I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged. — Erica Jong

On Editing

Half my life is an act of revision. — John Irving

It is perfectly okay to write garbage — as long as you edit brilliantly. — C. J. Cherryh

I can’t write five words but that I change seven. — Dorothy Parker

You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write. — Saul Bellow

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. — Thomas Jefferson

On the Power of Writing

Words are a lens to focus one’s mind. — Ayn Rand

A word after a word after a word is power. — Margaret Atwood

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect. — Anaïs Nin

I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn. — Anne Frank

To survive, you must tell stories. — Umberto Eco

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself. — Albert Camus

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. — Ray Bradbury

About the Author

Ramsay Lewis is a researcher, educator, and freelance writer. He’s interested in health, culture, and language. You can connect with him through Crisp Text.

Written by

Ramsay is a researcher, educator, and writer (crisptext.ca) based in Brazil. When not writing, you can find him cycling or looking for his keys.

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