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My Favorite Writer Quotes

I think it’s safe to say that writing is the subject that I’ve studied longest. Sure, it started with just grasping the pencil with some dexterity and has developed through school essays, technical writing, and now to developing a personal angle with memoir writing, and blogging. But whatever the genre, it feels like an incredibly rich and vast subject of study.

So here are five of my favorite writer quotes.

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach

“Write what you need to read.” – Adage

“The discipline of creation, be it to paint, compose, write, is an effort towards wholeness.” – Madeleine L’engle

“I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one.” – Mark Twain

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” – Stephen King

What are your favorite quotes for writing inspiration?

I’ve posted a companion piece on my personal blog: The Power of Story

I also post on Mondays at the Heart of the Matter blog, a great shared blog of personal storytelling. My book about my journey to find what fueled my dad’s indelible spark and twinkle can be found on Amazon: Finding My Father’s Faith.

You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @wynneleon

(featured photo from Pexels)

42 thoughts on “My Favorite Writer Quotes

  1. Oh…the Twain quote. I’ve used that one a time or two in self-defense. I’ve been told I take people on trips as I try to get to a point. I just say I’m ‘explaining…Twain-style’ and invoke that quote. 🤣

    1. I love it, Vicki!! That’s awesome. It’s one of my absolute favorites as well!! Which I suppose goes without saying since I put it on a post called “My favorite quotes…” See, I’m taking the long way!

      1. Oh! But to answer your question…I do love a good quote from Emerson…Ralph Waldo. This one always speaks to me, and I figure that’s the point of a quote, right?

        “People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.”

        Ever hopeful me…always looking for the good but starting within, Emerson-style. xo! 💕

  2. Good choices all, but I also have a special fondness for Twain’s. I have a couple favorite writers’ quotes, one I tell myself and one I tell others. For myself a favorite is from Lawrence Block, “One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly.” For those who ask me about writing, my favorite quote is actually a paraphrase of Warhohl’s description of the painting process – “Don’t think about making art. Just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” Works for writing too – write for yourself and let others decide if they like it, and while they are deciding, write some more!!

    1. Now how odd is this- It posted my comment as “Anonymous” Considering how often Anonymous is quoted I guess I’m in good company!

  3. I like the first one from Richard Bach, A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. I guess we bloggers are all like that, aren’t we? Nice post Wynne!

  4. I like all of your quotes. I have two from my writing mentor in my early days of attempting to write fiction, Gerry Petievich of “To Live and Die in LA.” He had a sign on his desk that said, “Remember, the reader is a genius.” The other was “Writer’s need buns of steel.”

  5. These are good! I think “write what you need to read” is so true and often the only way I can write anything decent.

  6. This is right up my alley Wynne. I’ve long kept a list of my favorite writing quotes. I might have to steal this idea in the future. Here’s three of my favorites:
    —“There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” —Red Smith
    —“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”—E.L. Doctorow
    —“I write to discover what I know.”—Flannery O’Connor

  7. I love writing quotes! It’s difficult to pick a favorite, though…

    Perhaps the Toni Morrison quote – “If there’s a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” A bit similar to your second quote above, but still powerful and helpful for me.

  8. “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” – Stephen King and The discipline of creation, be it to paint, compose, write, is an effort towards wholeness.” – Madeleine L’Engle are my favourite ones. And I know 🙈very little creative to not coming up with a new one.

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