Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Words From The Wise - Writing Quotes!


Today, instead of an article on writing, I decided instead to do something fun and post some of my favorite writing quotes. (Oh all right, yes, it's a lazy cop-out, but it'll hopefully provoke a few chuckles, and that's just what the doctor ordered, eh?)

So here are a few of the writing quotes I have plastered over my notebooks and walls and in the margins of my REFUSED file. Enjoy!



“Most writers enjoy two periods of happiness—when a glorious idea comes to mind, and when a last page has been written and you haven't had time to know how much better it ought to be.” ~~ J. B. Priestly


“A writer lives in a state of astonishment.” ~~ William Sansom


“It's nervous work. The state that you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums to get rid of.” ~~ Shirley Hazzard


“My books happen. They tend to blast in from nowhere, seize me by the throat, and howl 'Write me! Write me now!' But they rarely stand still long enough for me to see what and who they are, before they hurtle away again. And so I spend a lot of time running after them, like a thrown rider after an escaped horse, saying 'Wait for me! Wait for me!' and waving my notebook in the air.” ~~ Robin McKinley


“If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise. Attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it.” ~~ HG Wells


“I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.” ~~ Peter de Vries


“Sometimes I think my writing sounds like I walked out of the room and left the typewriter running.” ~~ Gene Fowler


“I can look at my books with pleasure from a distance. Four feet is close enough.” ~~ Jim Bishop


It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous. ~~Robert Benchley


“My stories run up and bite me on the leg—I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish the idea lets go and runs off.” ~~ Ray Bradbury


“There is no way that writers can be tamed and rendered civilized or even cured...the only solution known to science is to provide the patient with an isolation room where he can endure the acute stages in private and where food can be poked to him with a stick. If you disturb the patient at such time, he may break into tears or become violent.” ~~ Robert Heinlein


“A book is like a quarrel. One word leads to another, and may erupt in blood or print, irrevocably.” ~~ Will and Ariel Durant


“Computers will have to learn that when I quote from some old author who spelled differently from the machine, the wishes of the long-dead author will have to be respected, and the machine will have to mind its manners.” ~~ Robertson Davies


“Sir, perhaps the lack of literary inventiveness in modern opening lines is due to the effect of the word processor. When I ran the first line of Moby Dick through my spell-checker, it suggested changing it to 'Call me Fishmeal'.” ~~ Helen Grayson


"Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good." ~~ Anonymous


“I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.” ~~ Peter de Vries



When I'm not in the mood for laughing, I read these two quotes – they sum up beautifully the need for perseverance in writing, and the assurance that if you just keep WRITING, sooner or later you will achieve your dreams.


A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view, a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway. ~~ Junot Diaz


“A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.” ~~ Richard Bach


And for a final chuckle... :D


“Coleridge was a drug addict. Poe was an alcoholic. Marlowe was killed by a man whom he was treacherously trying to stab. Pope took money to keep a woman's name out of a satire then wrote a piece so that she could still be recognized anyhow. Chatterton killed himself. Byron was accused of incest. Do you still want to a writer--and if so, why?” ~~ Bennett Cerf


8 comments:

Lorna G. Poston said...

I love writer quotes. :)

banjobo said...

SO funny!! Mind if I put some on FB?? :)

Kate said...

Love the last one!

Elisabeth said...

This is one of my all-time favorites:

"I mean, what can you say about how you write your books? What I mean is, first you've got to think of something, and then when you've thought of it you've got to force yourself to sit down and write it. That's all."

~ Mrs. Oliver in Dead Man's Folly by Agatha Christie

Katherine Sophia said...

Love this one: "It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous." :D

Nina Hansen said...

I'm so glad you guys liked this! I may have to do this more often. :) Elisabeth - I LOVE that quote! And Beth, feel free to put any of these anywhere you like. :)

bminor said...

Thanks for a good laugh as well as a staunch reminder today! My favorite:
"Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good."

I chuckle partly out of humor, partly out of fear on that one. :)

Liberty Speidel said...

Those are good! And, in a way, the last one is sad since it's so true that so many creative people have mental illness. :( Oh well. Most made me smile at least!

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