"‘One thing that always worried me,’ she said slowly, smiling at Warren, ‘there is so much in the world to read, so much to learn, if you once got seriously started how could you stop?’"
- Joyce Carol Oates
"Don’t cast sidelong glances, and compare yourself to others among your peers! (Writing is not a race. No one really “wins.” The satisfaction is in the effort, and rarely in the consequent rewards, if there are any.)"
- Joyce Carol Oates
"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."
- Sylvia Plath
"If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write."
- Stephen King
"One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in them, to have the right ones form themselves into the proper pattern at the right moment."
- Hart Crane
"Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any."
- Orson Scott Card
"What writing practice, like Zen practice does, is bring you back to the natural state of mind…The mind is raw, full of energy, alive and hungry. It does not think in the way we were brought up to think-well-mannered, congenial."
– Natalie Goldberg
"The most essential gift for a good writer is a
built-in shockproof shit-detector."
- Ernest Hemingway
"There is real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment."
"Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.
For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed."
- Ernest Hemingway’s acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in Literature, read by John C. Cabot (United States Ambassador) December 10th, 1954
"The joy of writing.
The power of preserving.
Revenge of a mortal hand."
- Wislawa Szymborska, The joy of writing
"Detail makes the difference between boring and terrific writing. It’s the difference between a pencil sketch and a lush oil painting. As a writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors."
- Rhys Alexander
Originally posted here two years ago. Photos collected from Tumblr and We Heart It, sources since lost (if you know any original sources, let me know).