The 10 Best Quotes On Writing
The Writing Cycle has rounded up ten of the best quotes on the writing process to offer inspiration as you engage in creative work. Which most resonates with your triumphs and challenges? Or would you add another piece of advice to this list?
Quotes On Writing for Writers
- “A scathing perfectionist ethic undermines any serious artistic endeavor.” — Eric Fischl
- “Uncertainty is the essential, inevitable companion to your desire to make art. And tolerance for uncertainty is the prerequisite to succeeding.” — David Bayles & Ted Orland
- “Writing is about resilience and faith. Writing is hard for every last one of us – straight white men included. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine coal? They do not. They simply dig.” — Cheryl Strayd
- “What should you feel confident about? It doesn’t have to be that a given project will succeed. It doesn’t have to be that somehow you can avoid missteps, mistakes, and messes: nobody can avoid any of that, and that isn’t how the process works. What you should be confident about is that you are a legitimate human being with the right to be and the power to create.” — Eric Maisel
- “Don’t leave you to go find your point of view and your story. You are all you have been given . . . this is who you are, and from where you ought and need to write.” — Bret Lott
- “Editing may be a bloody trade, but knives aren’t the exclusive property of butchers. Surgeons use them too.” — Blake Morrison
- “Rejection educates. Failure teaches. Both hurt. Only distraction comforts. And of these, only distraction can lead to destruction. What determines whether we will succeed as creators is not how intelligent we are, or how talented we are, or how hard we work, but how we respond to the adversity of creation.” — Kevin Ashton
- “Art is only the means to life, to the life more abundant. It is not in itself the life more abundant. It merely points the way, something which is overlooked not only by the public, but very often by the artist himself. In becoming an end it defeats itself.”
— Henry Miller
- “It was not in my nature to be an assertive person. I was used to looking to others for guidance, for influence, sometimes for the most basic cues of life. And yet writing stories is one of the most assertive things a person can do. Fiction is an act of willfulness, a deliberate effort to reconceive, to rearrange, to reconstitute nothing short of reality itself. Even among the most reluctant and doubtful of writers, this willfulness must emerge. Being a writer means taking the leap from listening to saying, ‘Listen to me’.”
— Jhumpa Lahiri
- “For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. There isn’t any other tale to tell, it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness.” — James Baldwin
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