Archive of
Quotes About Writing

"All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand."
      - George Orwell, Why I Write

"I take the view and always have, that if you cannot say what you are going to say in twenty minutes you ought to go away and write a book about it."
     -- Lord Brabazon (1884-1964) Early Aviator

. . . the choice to be a writer was not the mere selection of an occupation, but rather the choice of an all-consuming lifestyle. And the business of a writer was the business of life, in both its uplifting glory and its complex frailty. - from Wish You Well, by David Baldacci (Warner Books)

"Man must construct himself from within. Without working, this is impossible. A writer who does nothing but write is like the moon which gives off some light, but it is borrowed, taken from the sun. A writer needs first-hand experience which only another field can give him. Otherwise, he is writing what he has read in other books."
      - from the brochure of a sandal maker/poet in Greece

"Writing is one of the few professions left in which it is still possible to be really independent, self-sufficient, and successful, too. It is no wonder so many people wish to be writers. The wonder is that so few of them have the fortitude to go through with it, to work and train -- as they would expect to do in any other profession -- for years in order to win out. There is no short cut, and no way around; every successful writer has to go through this mill, has to fail, and fail, and fail, and try again, and do his work and endure his disappointments in silence. Successful writers are men and women of character–the salt of the earth." 
     - Walter Campbell's words, quoted in a 1983 editorial by Donald E. Bower, Director of National Writer's Club.

"Good means whatever people buy. Literature is only what people read. That's the important thing. We're in a business. The first page will sell this book; the last page will sell your next one. Because people don't read a book to get to the middle. They read a book to get to the end. And they hope the end justifies the time they spent.
     - Mickey Spillane, in an interview article for Memories magazine, 1990

"My philosophy has always been . . . take a good thing and beat it 'til it don't move no more."
      - Stephen King

"Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."
      - Gene Fowler

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