Writing is an intense and rewarding solo effort, as much as musical composition or painting is. There are no partners or helpers in any of these arts, nor can there ever be. The creation of music, painting or a story can only come from a single hand.
Just as Gershwin could only create the magnificence that is Rhapsody In Blue, so it is that a writer has to tap into their own mind, experiences and talent to craft something that they can only hope someone will want to read.
Writing can be a lonely, frustrating business, but don’t get me wrong. Some writers need that. Others need a more positive mindset. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of quotes from and by authors about their craft. It is my hope that you will find them inspiring to your inner genius.
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“Writing is something you do alone. Its a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.” – John Green
“I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.” – Isaac Asimov
“Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.” – Lisa See
“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” – Terry Pratchett
“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” – Octavia E. Butler
“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” – Jodi Picoult
“Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.” – Stephen King
“Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.” – Ray Bradbury
“There is only one plot – things are not what they seem.” – Jim Thompson
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” – Stephen King
“Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.” – W.H. Auden
“Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”– William Faulkner
“If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.” – Edgar Rice Burroughs
“Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time they discover that routine is a better friend than inspiration.” – Ralph Keyes
“The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.” – Neil Gaiman
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” – Stephen King
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” – Louis L’Amour
“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” – Anton Chekhov
“I’ve always been into ‘fast-paced, don’t bore ’em, keep it moving along, stick with the story.’ You know: tell a story the way I want to hear a story.” – James Patterson
“When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.” – Stephen King
“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
“First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!” – Ray Bradbury
“If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.” – Wally Lamb
“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” – Ray Bradbury
“I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.” – William Carlos Williams
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach
“I believe myself that a good writer doesn’t really need to be told anything except to keep at it.” – Chinua Achebe
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