Author Quotes About Writing

There is a wealth of knowledge to be gained for the aspiring writer by perusing what other authors say about writing and their writing experience. Most speak from revelation born of the most basic of those activities and as much by way of confession as of admonition. Apply what we may, enjoy the rest. You can quote me on that… By way of caveat, I have pulled these quotes from that vast cauldron of truth otherwise known as the internet. I have not taken each to its source; so take the quote for its instructive value and its authorship with the appropriate grain of salt.

Do you have a favorite author quote about writing? Share it with us, please.

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” Jane Austen

“Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.” Kurt Vonnegut

“A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.” G. K. Chesterton

“Every author really wants to have letters printed in the papers. Unable to make the grade, he drops down a rung of the ladder and writes novels.” P. G. Wodehouse

“When I wrote The Onion Field, I realized that my first two novels were just practice.” Joseph Wambaugh

“You don’t want to dwell on your enemies, you know. I basically feel so superior to my critics for the simple reason that they haven’t done what I do. Most book reviewers haven’t written 11 novels. Many of them haven’t written one. ” John Irving

“People wonder why the novel is the most popular form of literature; people wonder why it is read more than books of science or books of metaphysics. The reason is very simple; it is merely that the novel is more true than they are.” G. K. Chesterton

“When I want to read a novel, I write one.” Benjamin Disraeli

“In writing a novel, when in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns.” Raymond Chandler

“There are three secrets to writing a novel. Unfortunately nobody knows what they are.” W. Somerset Maugham

“It has been well said that an author who expects results from a first novel is in a position similar to that of a man who drops a rose petal down the Grand Canyon of Arizona and listens for the echo.”  P. G. Wodehouse

“I like to create imaginary characters and events around a real historical situation. I want readers to feel: OK, this probably didn’t happen, but it might have.” Ken Follett

“Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.” G. K. Chesterton

“Everywhere I go, I’m asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” Flannery O’Connor

“The writer can choose what he writes about but he cannot choose what he is able to make live.”  Flannery O’Connor

“All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

“There are things about writing that I could say I hate. I hate the effort I have to make to get started, and I hate the effort I have to make to stop.” Clark G. Vanderpool     (This one I’m pretty sure about..)

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One Comment on “Author Quotes About Writing”

  1. Jane Laysen says:

    My favorite writing quote is from Charlotte Bronte. She said, “I’m just going to write becuase I cannot help it.”


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