Welcome to SCRAWL SPACE, Greg’s blog. Here he waxes eloquent on all things relating to writing and the writing life. In other words, it’s where he loves to waste his time and that of his readers. He’s very happy you’ve stopped by. You, too, Dad.
A while back, I posted “My 25 Favorite Quotes About Writing.” In retrospect, I probably should have titled that piece “25 Really Good Quotes About Writing.” I continuously stumble across magnificent writing quotes, and calling any one set of them “my favorite” feels limiting. It’s like choosing a favorite snowflake or ‘Rocky’ film – more just keep coming and dazzling me.
Below are another 25 great quotes from famous authors, poets and playwrights – because who doesn’t love pithy quips from crazy people? And more importantly, who has time to create a whole blog post using their own words every two weeks?
1) “Anyone who says he wants to be a writer and isn’t writing, doesn’t.” –Ernest Hemingway
2) “You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” –Saul Bellow
3) “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” –Anne Frank
4) “If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.” –Isaac Asimov
5) “I've found, in my own writing, that a little hatred, keenly directed, is a useful thing.” –Alice Walker
6) “If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.” –Juan Ramon Jimenez
7) “I write because I want more than one life; I insist on a wider selection. It’s greed, plain and simple.” –Anne Tyler
8) “Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.” –Samuel Beckett
9) “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” –Toni Morrison
10) “The first thing that distinguishes a writer is that he is most alive when alone.” –Martin Amis
11) “Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” –Gloria Steinem
12) “I don’t know why I started writing. I don’t know why anybody does it. Maybe they’re bored, or failures at something else.” –Cormac McCarthy
13) “Great writers are the saints for the godless.” –Anita Brookner
14) “One must be ruthless with one’s own writing or someone else will be.” –John Berryman
15) “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” –Anton Chekhov
16) "I was writing stories when I was five. I don’t know what I did before that. Just loafed, I suppose." –P. G. Wodehouse
17) “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” –Flannery O’Connor
18) “What I want to do is make people laugh so they’ll see things seriously.” –William Zinsser
19) “I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for?” –Alice Walker
20) “Write something that’s worth fighting over. Because that’s how you change things. That’s how you create art.” –Jeff Goins
21) “Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself…It’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.” –Harper Lee
22) “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us get up and go to work.” –Stephen King
23) “Anyone who says writing is easy isn't doing it right.” –Amy Joy
24) “A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom.” –Roald Dahl
25) “The pain of writing a novel is exceeded only by the agony of leaving the pages blank.” –Greg Levin (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
If you haven’t gotten your fill, you can read more great quotes on writing here. Also, feel free to share your favorite writing quote(s) in the comments section below. C’mon, all the cool kids are doing it.