As a writer, I struggle sometimes creating content of value.  I think to myself "I'll just write 500 words about 'x' and be done with it."

No, that doesn't work. I simply have too much to do.

This haphazard approach causes me to lose focus and motivation.  Over the years, though, I've found a way to keep myself motivated when writing gets tough.  

Below you’ll find some of my absolute favorite writing quotes. You will also find a wealth of understanding, knowledge and inspiration that can get you through the toughest episodes of writer’s block.

Writing, or creating any kind of art, is difficult.  Scratch that, it's war[1].  

Read on for some inspirational quotes on writing.

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Inspirational Quotes for Writers

Bird By Bird by Anne LamottCredit: WikipediaFirst, let me mention my favorite book ever on writing: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.  Every writer should read this book (and all of Anne's works), but especially this one.  She'll make you fall out of your chair laughing and teach you to be a better writer without even trying.  She is one thing if nothing else: incredible. Really.  Get the book today.

1- My business is to create.  ~William Blake

2- What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he’s staring out the window.  ~Burton Rascoe

3- If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.  ~Ben Franklin

4- Being an author is having angels whisper in your ear – and devils, too.  ~Terri Guillemets

5- You pour your heart out into this, you take all this abuse, you take all this crap in grief, all for what? For a measly fortune.  ~S.J. Perelman

6- Beneath the rule of men entirely great, the pen is mightier than the sword.  ~Edward Bulwer-Lytton

7- We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.  ~Ernest Hemingway

8- All the words you need are to be found in the dictionary. All you have to do is put them in the right order.  ~Emma Darcy

9- You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.  ~Neil Gaiman

10- Every word written is a victory against death.  ~Michel Butor

11- For me, a page of good prose is where one hears the rain and the noise of battle.  ~John Cheever

12- Most editors are failed writers – but so are most writers.  ~T.S. Eliot

13- Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.  ~Rudyard Kipling

14- That terrible mood of depression of whether it's any good or not is what is known as The Artist's Reward.  ~Ernest Hemingway

15- It all starts on the page.  ~Steven Spielberg

16- If I fall asleep with a pen in my hand, don’t remove it – I might be writing in my dreams.  ~Terri Guillemets

17- If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.  ~Emile Zola

Learn from the Master

Writing Advice Disguised As Writing Quotations

Ignore EverybodyCredit: gapingvoid.comI didn't intend to do this, but I had to refer to another awesome book on creativity: Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod.  Hugh is an incredible artist, and his inspirational advice helps me get back on track everytime.  He's also co-authored a book with Seth Godin called V is for Vulnerable that I can't wait to get my hands on.

1- Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.  ~Jim Jarmusch

2- Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.  ~Neil Gaiman

3- You can’t say, I won’t write today because that excuse will extend into several days, then several months, then… you are not a writer anymore, just someone who dreams about being a writer.  ~Dorothy C. Fontana

4- The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.  ~Tom Clancy

5- If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.  ~Stephen King

6- At night, when the objective world has slunk back into its cavern and left dreamers to their own, there come inspirations and capabilities impossible at any less magical and quiet hour. No one knows whether or not he is a writer unless he has tried writing at night.  ~H.P. Lovecraft

7- Appealing workplaces are to be avoided. One wants a room with no view, so imagination can meet memory in the dark.  ~Annie Dillard

8- The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with.  ~William Faulkner

9- When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.  ~Raymond Chandler

10- Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and adventures are the shadow truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes and forgotten.  ~Neil Gaiman

11- I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.  ~James A. Michener

12- If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.  ~Edgar Rice Burroughs

13- When you take stuff from one writer, its plagiarism. But when you take it from many writers, its research.  ~William Mizner

14- The imagination doesn’t crop annually like a reliable fruit tree. The writer has to gather whatever’s there: sometimes too much, sometimes too little, sometimes nothing at all. And in the years of glut there is always a slatted wooden tray in some cool, dark attic, which the writer nervously visits from time to time; and yes, oh dear, while he’s been hard at work downstairs, up in the attic there are puckering skins, warning spots, a sudden brown collapse and the sprouting of snowflakes. What can he do about it?  ~Julian Barnes

15- Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.  ~Kurt Vonnegut

V is for Vulnerable Seth GodinCredit: Wikipedia16- There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.  ~Walter Wellesley Smith

17- If you’re going to be a writer, the first essential is just to write. Do not wait for an idea. Start writing something and the ideas will come. You have to turn the faucet on before the water starts to flow.  ~Louis L’Amour

18- I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.  ~Stephen King

19- The first chapter sells the book. The last chapter sells the next book.  ~Mickey Spillane

20- Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original; whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring two pence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.  ~C.S. Lewis

21- Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.  ~Stephen King

22- The ideas aren’t that important. Really they aren’t. Everyone’s got an idea for a book, a movie, a story, a TV series.  ~Neil Gaiman

23- The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightening bug.  ~Mark Twain

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Funny Writing Quotes

1- As far as I’m concerned, the entire reason for becoming a writer is not having to get up in the morning.  ~Neil Gaiman

2- A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the other one.  ~Baltasar Gracian

3- I get up in the morning, torture a typewriter until it scrams, then stop.  ~Clarence Budington Kelland

4- Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.  ~Edgar Lawrence Doctorow

5- Easy reading is damn hard writing.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

6- I was kind of excited about going to jail the first time and I learnt some great dialogue.  ~Quentin Tarantino

7- Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.  ~Author Unknown

8- Loafing is the most productive part of a writer’s life.  ~James Norman Hall

9- I try to leave out the parts that people skip.  ~Elmore Leonard

10- Writing is a fairly lonely business unless you invite people in to watch you do it, which is often distracting and then have to ask them to leave.  ~Marc Lawrence

11- If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.  ~Isaac Asimov

12- All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Quotations from Writers That Don’t Necessarily Have To Do With Writing

1- There’s a lot of mystery in the world, a lot of dark, shadowy corners we haven’t explored yet. We shouldn’t be too smug about dismissing out of hand everything we can’t understand. The dark can have teeth man!  ~Stephen King

2- Give them pleasure. The same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.  ~Alfred Hitchcock

3- Don’t mind criticism. If it’s untrue, disregard it; if it’s unfair, keep from irritation; if it’s ignorant, smile; if it’s justified, learn from it.  ~Old Chinese Saying

4- I don't know if proud is the right word, but I am somebody who does not, on the whole, have the highest regard for my own stuff in that when I look all I get to see are the flaws.  ~Neil Gaiman

5- There is no such thing as fiction. It’s either all happened before or will happen in the future. If not on our world, then on another. If not in our reality, then in another.  ~Mark Morrow (an as yet unknown writer)

6- Wait until you are hungry to say something, until there is an aching in you to speak.  ~Natalie Goldberg

7- Only in men’s imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life.  ~Joseph Conrad

8- Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work.  ~Clive Barker

9- The only way to avoid being miserable is not to have enough leisure to wonder whether you are happy or not.  ~George Bernard Shaw

10- There is no mistake so great as the mistake of not going on.  ~William Blake

11- Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  ~Mark Twain

12- One writes out of one thing only… one's own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from the experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give.  ~James Baldwin

13- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.  ~Scott Adams

14- The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.  ~Ray Bradbury

15- I wanted to write about the moment when your addictions no longer hide the truth from you. When your whole life breaks down. That’s the moment when you have to somehow choose what your life is going to be about.  ~Chuck Palahniuk


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