Pearls of Wisdom Quotes Reading & Writing

Pearls of Wisdom | Quotes on Writing from Master Authors

Good writing is an acquired skill. It’s not something that you are born with, but something you develop over time. However, it is also true that no writer becomes a masterful author overnight. It’s an arduous process, akin to planting a seed and watching it turn into a fruit-bearing plant.

Most writers develop a particular voice after they have put in countless hours, banging out hundreds of thousands of words.

This post comprises quotes on writing from such magnificent authors who assiduously practiced their craft. Their words continue to inspire fledgling writers even today.

Some of these quotes speak about writing style, some address weaknesses such as writer’s block and our tendency to not edit, most, though, will inspire you to write. So without further ado, let’s rush into hi-octane quotes on writing:

“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that it’s raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” – EL Doctorow

“Once you master riding, what you have learned will stay with you for the rest of your life. It’s the same with writing.” – Sol Stein

“Writing is like hunting. There are brutally cold afternoons with nothing in sight, only the wind and your breaking heart. Then the moment when you bag something big.”– Kate Braverman

“Arousal is an author’s stimulus for the reader. Without early arousal, the reader does not yet trust that he will enjoy the experience that the writer has prepared.” – Sol Stein

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” — Samuel Johnson

“If one understands the principles of intriguing the reader, one doesn’t need decades of experience.” – Sol Stein

“If you wait for inspiration to write you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.” — Dan Poynter

“The engine of both fiction and nonfiction is the point at which the reader makes the decision not to put the book down. The engine should start in the first three pages.” – Sol Stein

“Much academic writing is countereducational because its dullness insulates its information from nearly everybody.” – Sol Stein

“The task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen, but to think what nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees.” ⁠— Arthur Schopenhauer

“Information sticks best when it is crafted to touch the reader’s emotions.” – Sol Stein

“My advice to the writers yearning for publication is to minimize description. Be sure you don’t stop the story while describing it. You are a storyteller, not an interior designer.” – Sol Stein

“What makes writing interesting is the writer’s willingness to broach the unspeakable, to say things that people don’t ordinarily say.” – Sol Stein


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“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at the typewriter and open a vein.” – Red Smith

“First drafts and shit.” – Ernest Hemingway

“Unwillingness to revise your draft usually signals an amateur.” – Sol Stein

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” – Ernest Hemingway

“A writer is a manipulator for whom the end justifies the means, a teller of white lies, a deceiver, all to good end.” – Sol Stein

“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.” — Descartes

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” — Haruki Murakami

“Two ways to be successful in life: do something worth writing about or write something worth reading.” -Ben Franklin

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time to write. Simple as that.” — Stephen King

“We are moved not by information but by the excellence of diction.” – Sol Stein

“The first words of a novel or story affect editors, reviewers, and readers. A terrific sentence on page two won’t help if the reader never gets there.” – Sol Stein

“A writer needs the courage to say what other people sometimes think but don’t say. Or don’t allow themselves to think.” – Sol Stein

“Indeed, learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.” — Eudora Welty

“I kept always two books in my pocket: one to read, one to write in.” Robert Louis Stevenson

“The Six Golden Rules of Writing: Read, read, read, and write, write, write.” — Ernest Gaines

“Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.” ― Lisa See

“One sure window into a person’s soul is his reading list.” — Mary B. W. Tabor

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” — Toni Morrison

“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

“Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.” — Mark Twain

“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” — Natalie Goldberg

“Successful writing immerses the reader in heightened experience more than the life around him. Dull writing doesn’t provide pleasure.”– Sol Stein

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” — Henry David Thoreau

“It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.” — P.D. James

“Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.” — Virginia Woolf

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” — Louis L’Amour

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” — Ernest Hemingway

“Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of job: It’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.” — Neil Gaiman

“It doesn’t matter how many book ideas you have if you can’t finish writing your book.” — Joe Bunting

“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” — Margaret Atwood

“Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.” — John Steinbeck

“Be willing to write really badly.” — Jennifer Egan

“I do not over-intellectualise the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.” — Tom Clancy

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

“Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as a writer.” — Ray Bradbury

“Half my life is an act of revision.” — John Irving

“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.” — Gustave Flaubert

“Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.” — T.S. Eliot

“A writer never has a vacation. For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.” — Eugene Ionesco

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” — Ray Bradbury

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” — Mark Twain

“Write drunk, edit sober.” — Ernest Hemingway

“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” ― Jodi Picoult

“The author, in his work, must be like God in the Universe, present everywhere and visible nowhere.”– Gustave Flaubert


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