"Writers are not just people who sit down and write. They hazard themselves. Every time you compose a book your composition of yourself is at stake." ~E.L. Doctorow

“We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.” ~ Helen Keller

"The last thing one settles in writing a book is what one should put first." ~ Pascal

"Our most haunting dreams, no matter how hallucinatory, are the most busily etched.”
~ Charles Baxter

"If you don’t have a moment like this, of vision and theme and subtext, your work is not worth reading, and landscape description is the easiest way to create these moments."
~David Vann

“As writers, we are in a state of constant and brutal negotiation with ourselves and the details of the world.”
~Victoria Redel

"Beyond this one absolute – in which all dramatic effects must be achieved by showing – exists a rich variety of ways in which a writer may balance showing and telling, all of them equally capable of granting us access to a world where the secret life is made momentarily, luminously visible.”
~Catherine Brady

“Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.”

"I've always believed that one has to want in order to get, but when the want becomes all-consuming, or at least more consuming than the work itself, the process is perverted - for better or worse."

~Betsy Lerner

Sleep on your writing; take a walk over it; scrutinize it of a morning; review it of an afternoon; digest it after a meal."
~A. Bronson Alcott

"It should make you panic and ask yourself if the book can live up to this awesome query."
~Cindy Dyson

“Vigorous writing is concise.”
~William Strunk Jr.

Narrative pacing is the novelist’s biggest challenge.
~Donald Maass

Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.
~Karen Kaiser Clark

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
~Anton Chekhov

Find the key emotion; this may be all you need know to find your short story.
~F. Scott Fitzgerald

The transcendent work is the work you know is the best you can offer. And your offering, in and of itself, is an act of transcendency.
~Noah Lukeman

When we are convinced by qualities of character we cannot entirely reconcile, we are in the presence of mystery.
~Catherine Brady

Typically, when your mother starts to dislike your writing, that’s when you’ve really found your voice.
~Abraham Verghese

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

For artists, the great problem to solve is how to get oneself noticed.

“You must once and for all give up being worried about successes and failures. Don’t let that concern you. It’s your duty to go on working steadily day by day, quite quietly, to be prepared for mistakes, which are inevitable, and for failures.”
~Anton Chekhov

The test of any good fiction is that you should care something for the characters; the good to succeed, the bad to fail. The trouble with most fiction is that you want them all to land in hell, together, as quickly as possible.
~Mark Twain

All of our lives are narrative.

~Jon Franklin

I love the hateful process.
~Jo-Ann Mapson

If it doesn’t surprise, don’t write it.

~Janet Fitch

What one seems to want in art, in experiencing it, is the same thing that is necessary for its creation, a self-forgetful, perfectly useless concentration.
~Elizabeth Bishop

Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.

I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.

~Stephen King

A story always involves, in a dramatic way, the mystery of personality.
~ Flannery O’Connor

Something in us reaches out, into the landscape in front of us, looking for the right vessel, the right vehicle, for whatever will serve.
~Mark Doty

Sit down, and put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.

People say I don’t take criticism well, but I say, what the hell do they know?
~Groucho Marx

A good style should show no signs of effort. What is written should seem a happy accident.
~W. Somerset Maugham

The part of a writer that is available for public viewing is what's on the page. This is the truest version of themselves.
~Malcolm Gladwell

Do not hurry, do not rest.

A man will turn over half a library to make one book.
~ Samuel Johnson

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
~William Wordsworth

The limitations that any writer imposes on his work will grow out of the necessities that lie in the material itself.
~ Flannery O'Connor, Mystery and Manners

Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.
~Hannah Arendt

We think before the writing, and afterward. But during the writing, we listen.
~Madeleine L’Engle

A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer.
~Karl Kraus

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music the words make.

~Truman Capote, McCall's, November 1967

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