Great Writing Quotes

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend.  Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” Groucho Marx

 “All who wander are not lost.”  J. R. R. Tolkien

“I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” Blaise Pascal

  “Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.”  Heinrich Heine

 “I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as fraud.”  Carl Jung

 “In every struggle, there is a hidden blessing.”  Joan Chittister

 “A good novel is possible only after one has given up and let go.”  Walker Percy

 “No one else knows my lack of ability the way I do . . . My work is no good. . . It isn’t the great book I had hoped it would be. It’s just a run-of-the-mill book. And the awful thing is that it is absolutely the best I can do.”   John Steinbeck  about The Grapes of Wrath

“I’m writing a book.  I’ve got the page numbers done.”   Steven Wright

 “Characters are fascinating in their extremity, not in their happiness.”  Elizabeth George

“The poor novelist constructs his characters; he controls them & makes them speak. The true novelist listens to them & watches them function; he eavesdrops on them even before he knows them.”   Andre Gide

 “Begin with an individual, & before you know it you find that you have created a type. Begin with a type & you find that you have created –nothing.”  F. Scott Fitzgerald

“These characters in my mind are not real. They aren’t. When a character puts me under house arrest, I have to remember that I can escape.”     Michael Cadnum

“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

 “The profession of book-writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.”  John Steinbeck

 “There are three rules for writing a novel.  Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”  W. Somerset Maugham

 “Writing is easy.  You just sit down at the typewriter and open a vein.”  Red Smith 

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”  Robert Frost

 “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

 “You must do the things you cannot do.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

 “There’s no perfect time to write.  There’s only now.”  Barbara Kingsolver

 “First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!”  Ray Bradbury

 “Look for the ridiculous in everything and you will find it.”   Jules Renard

 “Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog.  Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.”  E. B.  White 

 “I love inscriptions on flyleaves and notes in margins. I like the comradely sense of turning pages someone else turned, and reading passages some one long gone has called my attention to.”  Bibliophile Helene Hanff, on the joys of second-hand books, from 84, Charing Cross Road

 “If you’re going to tell people the truth, you’d better make them laugh.  Otherwise, they’ll kill you.”  George Bernard Shaw 

 “You have to be available to the invisible voices that are swirling around you.”  George C. Wolfe

 “For those who believe, no words are necessary.  For those who do not believe, no words are possible.”   Saint Ignatius of Loyola

 “May we have a dream of a world where people, whatever their race, religion, culture, abilities or disabilities . . . can find a place and reveal their gifts.”  Jean Vanier

 “Three things in human life are important:  the first is to be kind, the second is to be kind, and the third is to be kind.”  Henry James   

“I dwell in possibility.”  Emily Dickinson 

 “Even a soul submerged in sleep is hard at work and helps make something of the world.”  Heraclitus   

“If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place in which to live.”   John F. Kennedy 

“We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.”  John F. Kennedy 

“In serving his vision of the truth, the artist best serves his nation.”  John F. Kennedy 

“There are three things which are real; God, Human Folly and Laughter. The first two are beyond our comprehension so we must do what we can with the third.”   John F. Kennedy

 “It is only with one’s heart that one can see clearly.  What is essential is invisible to the eye.”  Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

 “The story you’re writing should feel more real to you than the life you are living.”  Thrity Umrigar

  “If you can’t get rid of the family skeleton you may as well make it dance.”  Bernard Shaw

 “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘you cannot paint,’ by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”  Vincent van Gogh 

 “Who looks outside dreams.  Who looks inside awakens.”  Carl Jung

  “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” Henry David Thoreau

“Literary fiction is about an extraordinary person engaged in an ordinary activity or event. Commercial or genre fiction is about an ordinary person engaged in extraordinary happenings.”  Stephen King

 “Creating a story is like bearing a child and it leaves me in a state as weak and helpless as when my baby was born.”  Harriet Beecher Stowe

“Life is made of memorable moments. We must teach ourselves
to really live…to love the journey not the destination.”
Ann Quindlen

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