Knowledge is the foundation and source of good writing.
Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.
Write drunk; edit sober.
In order to write about life first you must live it.
You can make anything by writing.
A problem with a piece of writing often clarifies itself if you go for a long walk.
Truth that is naked is the most beautiful, and the simpler its expression the deeper is the impression it makes.
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.
If you write what you yourself sincerely think and feel and are interested in, the chances are very high that you will interest other people as well.
A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.
Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.
It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition.
Everybody else is working to change, persuade, tempt and control them. The best readers come to fiction to be free of all that noise.
A writer without interest or sympathy for the foibles of his fellow man is not conceivable as a writer.
Writing is a struggle against silence.
The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with.
I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.
A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.
Your word is the power that you have to create; it is a gift.
Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure.
Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.
First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him.
After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.
I do not over-intellectualise the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.
Style means the right word. The rest matters little.
Poetry is an act of peace.
Poetry is an act of peace. Peace goes into the making of a poet as flour goes into the making of bread.
Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.
When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you're done, you have to step back and look at the forest.
Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.
The business of the novelist is not to relate great events, but to make small ones interesting.
As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.
A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.
No author dislikes to be edited as much as he dislikes not to be published.
Whether we are describing a king, an assassin, a thief, an honest man, a prostitute, a nun, a young girl, or a stallholder in a market, it is always ourselves that we are describing.
Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.
You wanna fly, you got to give up the sh*t that weighs you down.
To survive, you must tell stories.
To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.
To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it.
Tears are words that need to be written.
Writing is the painting of the voice.
The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.
If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.
Writing, like life itself, is a voyage of discovery.
Writing, like life itself, is a voyage of discovery. The adventure is a metaphysical one: it is a way of approaching life indirectly, of acquiring a total rather than a partial view of the universe. The writer lives between the upper and lower worlds: he takes the path in order eventually to become the path himself.
Indeed, learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.
Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.
You go where the story leads you.
If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.
Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.
All bad writers are in love with the epic.
A writer is a world trapped in a person.
Writing is its own reward.
Good fiction's job is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.
All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.
Write what should not be forgotten.
One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.
Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler's heart, kill your darlings.
Closed in a room, my imagination becomes the universe, and the rest of the world is missing out.
A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.
The scariest moment is always just before you start.
The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.
We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.
Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish.
If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.
I always start writing with a clean piece of paper and a dirty mind.
To hold a pen is to be at war.
Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.
Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.
There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
Good things, when short, are twice as good.
The task of a writer consists of being able to make something out of an idea.
Writing is the most fun you can have by yourself.
Fiction is the truth inside the lie.
No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.
Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.
The answer to all writing, to any career for that matter, is love.
I don't control my writing -- it controls me.
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
A poem is never finished, only abandoned.
Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads.
A word after a word after a word is power.
All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind.
I could write an entertaining novel about rejection slips, but I fear it would be overly long.
Every writer I know has trouble writing.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.
Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power.
The waste basket is the writer's best friend.
How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
No man means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
Writing is a dog's life, but the only life worth living.
Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.
Be regular and orderly in your life like a bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work.
Good writing is like a windowpane.
Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own.