Ten Quotes by Writers on Writing

BooksAs I prepare to speak at the 2014 Write To Inspire Conference, I began collecting some quotes on writing from some of the writers whose work has been personally influential to me. I hope you like the quotes, and if you are in the northern California area, I encourage you to check out the Inspire Christian Writers website for details on this conference on October 3-4, 2014.

“We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say—and to feel —‘Yes, that’s the way it is, or at least that’s the way I feel it.’ You’re not as alone as you thought.”  John Steinbeck

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” Madeleine L’Engle

“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.” Kurt Vonnegut

“A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.” Mark Twain

“If you have a beautiful story, it has to have conflict. If you don’t have conflict, it can’t be a good story.” Donald Miller

“In order to write about life first you must live it.” Ernest Hemingway

“I think I succeeded as a writer because I did not come out of an English department. I used to write in the chemistry department. And I wrote some good stuff. If I had been in the English department, the prof would have looked at my short stories, congratulated me on my talent, and then showed me how Joyce or Hemingway handled the same elements of the short story. The prof would have placed me in competition with the greatest writers of all time, and that would have ended my writing career.”  Kurt Vonnegut

“I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.” James A. Michener

“Write what you know.” Mark Twain

“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.” G. K. Chesterton

 [Note: Are you an author, poet, lyricist, playwright or blogger? Then you might like the following articles on writing: “Literally. Or Not.” and “When I Write.”]

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