For Christmas: some quotes and quips about writers and writing.
We’ve all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.
The best way to become a successful writer is to read good writing, remember it, and then forget where you remember it from.
If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.
Write as if you are dying.
Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.
The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.
Writing is no trouble: you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity itself - it is the occurring which is difficult.
A writer is someone for whom writing is much harder than it is for the others.
I write when I am inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning.
Peter de Vries
Having imagination, it takes you an hour to write a paragraph that, if you were unimaginative, would take you only a minute. Or you might not write the paragraph at all.
Franklin P Adams
Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.
There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.
W W ‘Red’ Smith
What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.
What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.
That writer does the most, who gives his reader the most knowledge, and takes from him the least time.
Charles Caleb Colton
Never use a big word where a diminutive one will suffice.
The waste basket is the writer’s best friend.
Editors don’t reject writers; they reject pieces of paper that have been typed on.
Writers should be read but not seen. Rarely are they a winsome sight.
When audiences come to see us authors lecture, it is largely in the hope that we'll be funnier to look at than read
Punctuation is the sound of your voice on paper.
English spelling is weird...or is it wierd?
The role of the writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.
What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.
Logan Pearsall Smith
How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
Henry David Thoreau
The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.
How do I know what I think until I see what I say?
E M Forster
There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write.
He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met.
It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by then I was too famous.
There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.
It is still an unending source of surprise for me how a few scribbles on a blackboard or on a piece of paper can change the course of human affairs.
We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.
Robert Cecil Day-Lewis
Any proper writer ought to be able to write anything from an Easter Day sermon to a sheep-dip handout.
Sir Kingsley Amis
To sum it all up, if you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life, you must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish for you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories.