Friday, 20 April 2012

Write wit 2

Way back in December 2010 I wrote a blog posting of quotations about writers and writing Write wit. It seemed to go down well, so here are some more offerings of the same - a sequel, as it were.

“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.”

Ivan Turgenev

“I just sit at a typewriter and curse a bit.”
P G Wodehouse

"It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?"
Vita Sackville-West

Vita Sackville West

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way."
E L Doctorow

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.
E L Doctorow 

"There are plenty of clever young writers. But there is too much genius, not enough talent."

J B Priestley

"Practically everybody in New York has half a mind to write a book, and does."
Groucho Marx

"A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation for the editor."
Ring Lardner

"Clutter is the disease of American writing. We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon."
William Zinsser

“One thing that literature would be greatly the better for

Would be a more restricted employment by authors of simile and metaphor.”

Ogden Nash

Ogden Nash

“If you steal from one author it’s plagiarism; if you steal from many it’s research.”

Wilson Mizner  

“Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.”
Rod Serling

“Television has raised writing to a new low.”

Samuel Goldwyn

"Most rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read."
Frank Zappa

"Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down.”
Robert Frost 

“Those big-shot writers could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar.”
Mickey Spillane

I am the kind of writer that people think other people are reading.
V S Naipaul

"When I was a little boy, they called me a liar, but now that I am grown up, they call me a writer."
Isaac Singer

"People want to know why I do this, why I write such gross stuff. I like to tell them I have the heart of a small boy - and I keep it in a jar on my desk."
Stephen King

Stephen King
 “I'm a lousy writer; a helluva lot of people have got lousy taste.”
Grace Metalious

 "I was thirty-seven when I went to work writing the column. I was too old for a paper route, too young for Social Security, and too tired for an affair."

Erma Bombeck

"If you want to get rich from writing, write the sort of thing that's read by persons who move their lips when they're reading to themselves."
Don Marquis

"There are men who can write poetry, and there are men who can read balance sheets.The men who can read balance sheets cannot write."
Henry R Luce

"If writers were good businessmen, they'd have too much sense to be writers."

Irvin S Cobb 

“Some day I hope to write a book where the royalties will pay for the copies I give away.”
Clarence Darrow 

“Writing is turning one's worst moments into money.”
J P Donleavy 

“Income tax returns: the most imaginative fiction written today.”
Herman Wouk 

“No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's draft.”
H G Wells 

“Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.”
Franklin P Jones 

“Be kind and considerate with your criticism. It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book.”
Malcolm Cowley

“Do we write books so that they shall merely be read? Don't we also write them for employment in the household? For one that is read from start to finish, thousands are leafed through, other thousands lie motionless, others are jammed against mouseholes.”
G C Lichtenberg

“I can't understand why a person will take a year to write a novel when he can easily buy one for a few dollars.”
Fred Allen

“Ordering a man to write a poem is like commanding a pregnant woman to give birth to a red-headed child.”
Carl Sandburg 

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

"The artist is extremely lucky who is presented with the worst possible ordeal which will not actually kill him. At that point, he's in business."
John Berryman

“I did not write it. God wrote it. I merely did his dictation.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe
 "When all things are equal, translucence in writing is more effective than transparency, just as glow is more revealing than glare."
James Thurber

"There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred are there. Only you don't see them."
Elie Wiesel 

"It is all very well to be able to write books, but can you waggle your ears?"
J M Barrie

If you enjoyed these you might like to view my first Write wit post here. My third in the series is here: Write wit 3.


  1. Can't waggle my ears but I can chuckle!

  2. An even better attribute I'd say.

  3. I absolutely love Stephen King quotes!! The heart of a boy is the funniest! Thanks for sharing these.