My Favorite Quotes About Writing

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-> "Talent is long patience."
-- Gustave Flaubert

-> "What's more important: Talent or Persistence? Talent is more important, but useless, in the majority of cases, without persistence."
-- Unknown (to me)

-> If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware off, no shortcut.
-- Stephen King, On Writing

-> The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.
-- Stephen King, On Writing

-> Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
-- E.L. Doctorow

-> My older brother was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, "Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird."
-- Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

-> Writing is not the lottery. New writers have to be realistic about what it takes to get published. But there is one similarity to the lottery: You have to play to win.
-- Lori Perkins, literary agent

-> No matter how good you are, nobody is going to come knocking at your door. You have to take the risk of rejection, and get that material out there. Assume, as much as possible, that it might get taken, not that it must be. Also, be aware that just because a piece is rejected, it does not necessarily mean that the idea or writing is bad…..Understand, too, that things get rejected for a lot of reasons. Your writing may be wonderful - it may be your timing, your subject, or an editor's quirks that get between you and a sale. Try to find your richest joy and satisfaction in the writing itself. Let the rest be gravy. Good gravy, but gravy.
-- Elizabeth Berg, Escaping into the Open

-> You feel the call. That's the important thing. Now answer it as fully as you can. Take the risk to let all that is in you, out. Escape into the open.
-- Elizabeth Berg, Escaping into the Open

-> Start with your childhood. Plug your nose and jump in, and write down all your memories as truthfully as you can. Flannery O'Connor said that anyone who survived childhood has enough material to write for the rest of his or her life.
-- Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

-> What writing is. . .Telepathy.
-- Stephen King, On Writing

-> Writing a novel proved to be the hardest, most self-analyzing task I had ever attempted, far worse than an autobiography: and its rewards were greater than I expected.
-- Dick Francis (ex steeplechase jockey, ex RAF pilot), The Sport of Queens

-> "Writing is like a disease, you either have it or you don't."
-- Anne Groell, Bantam Editor, during a Pennwriters conference.

-> We write to expose the unexposed. Most human beings are dedicated to keeping that one door shut. But the writer's job is to see what's behind it, to see the bleak unspeakable stuff, and to turn the unspeakable into words - not just into any words but if we can, into rhythm and blues. You can't do this without discovering your own true voice, and you can't find your true voice and peer behind the door and report honestly and clearly to us if your parents are reading over your shoulder.
-- Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

-> If you can remember all the accessories that go with your best outfit, the contents of your purse, the starting lineup of the New York Yankees or the Houston Oilers, or what label "Hang On Sloopy" by The McCoys was on, you are capable of remembering the differences between a gerund (verb form used as a noun) and a participle (verb form used as an adjective).
-- Stephen King, On Writing

-> Must you write complete sentences each time, every time? Perish the thought. If your work consists only of fragments and floating clauses, the Grammar Police aren't going to come and take you away. Even William Strunk, that Mussolini of rhetoric, recognized the delicious pliability of language. "It is an old observation," he writes, "that the best writers sometimes disregard the rules of rhetoric." Yet he goes on to add this thought, which I urge you to consider: "Unless he is certain of doing well, [the writer] will probably do best to follow the rules."
-- Stephen King, On Writing

->  "Just don't pretend you know more about your characters than they do, because you don't. Stay open to them. It's teatime and all the dolls are at the table. Listen. It's that simple."
-- Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

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