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notability, questions about quote removal[edit]

  • Well personally I like bad writing. I know this because no matter what I like, someone tells me that [it's] badly written. I like bad acting too.

From the quotes themselves, the following are not clearly about the art/craft of writing. Should they be removed?

  • I've only written a tenth of what I know-- and they're already screaming.
  • It is not a bad idea to get in the habit of writing down one's thoughts. It saves one having to bother anyone else with them.
  • Words are like eye glasses, blurring everything that they do not make clear.

Stealing writing[edit]

I heard a quote by a fomous Author that went something like "good authors borrow ideas, the best autors steal them." If some one can find that it should be added here.

Two quotes I'm looking for..[edit]

Two quotes I'm looking for that I think should be added here. I am going to mangle these and have no idea of the sources. However they are great for the subject and one should be the mantra of every Wikiquotian.

  1. If something is easy to read great effort went into writing it.
  2. Writing well is removing everything that isn't needed until there is nothing left to remove.

-- Greyed 21:51, 7 January 2008 (UTC)


  • But it takes an awful long time to not write a book!
  • If you can't annoy somebody with that you write, I think there's little point in writing.
  • You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success - but only if you persist.
  • It's easy, after all, to not be a writer. Most people are not writers, and very little harm comes to them.
  • Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long.
  • About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment.
  • Great literature must spring from an upheaval in the author's soul. If that upheaval is not present then it must come from the works of any other author which happens to be handy and easily adapted.
    • Robert Benchley, as quoted in The Routledge Dictionary of Quotations : A Dictionary of Quotations (1987) by Robert Andrews, p. 154
  • I take the view, and always have, that if you cannot say what you are going to say in twenty minutes you ought to go away and write a book about it.
  • To write well is to think well, to feel well, and to render well; it is to possess at once an intellect, soul, and taste.
  • No one ever committed suicide while reading a good book, but many have tried while trying to write one.
  • In my writing and my thinking and my work, I've thought of myself as addressing artists and writers. The rest of the world can take it or leave it as far as I'm concerned.
  • I've only written a tenth of what I know-- and they're already screaming.
  • The important thing is that there should be a space of time, say four hours a day at least, when a professional writer doesn't do anything else but write. He doesn't have to write, and if he doesn't feel like it he shouldn't try. He can look out of the window or stand on his head or writhe on the floor, but he is not to do any other positive thing, not read, not write letters, glance at magazines, or write checks. Either write or nothing[1].
  • It is not a bad idea to get in the habit of writing down one's thoughts. It saves one having to bother anyone else with them.
  • The more books we read, the sooner we perceive that the only function of a writer is to produce a masterpiece. No other task is of any consequence.
  • I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.
  • The written word is weak. Many people prefer life to it. Life gets your blood going, and it smells good. Writing is mere writing, literature is mere. It appeals only to the subtlest senses - the imagination's vision and the imagination's hearing - and the moral sense, and the intellect. This writing that you do, that so thrills you, that so rocks and exhilarates you, as if you were dancing next to the band, is barely audible to anyone else. The reader's ear must adjust down from loud life to the subtle, imaginary sounds of the written word. An ordinary reader picking up a book can't hear a thing; it will take half an hour to pick up the writing's modifications, its ups and downs and louds and softs.
  • The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it.
  • Learn to write well, or not to write at all.
  • When the past is recaptured by the imagination, breath is put back into life.
  • Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.
  • All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.
  • I think of a writer as a river: you reflect what passes before you.
  • The natural state of all writing is mediocrity.
  • If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul.
  • The writer's intention hasn't anything to do with what he achieves. The intent to earn money or the intent to be famous or the intent to be great doesn't matter in the end. Just what comes out.
  • A serious writer is not to be confused with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.
  • The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would never do anything.
  • The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.
  • Writing is as much a work in progress as the writing itself.
  • All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things.
  • What a heavy oar the pen is, and what a strong current ideas are to row in!
  • It is splendid to be a great writer, to put men into the frying pan of your words and make them pop like chestnuts.
  • I like to write when I feel spiteful; it's like having a good sneeze.
  • Writing is no trouble, you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity enough - it is the occurring which is difficult.
  • Your life story would not make a good book. Don't even try.
  • You should write, first of all, to please yourself. you shouldn't care a damn about anybody else at all. But writing can't be a way of life - the important part of writing is living. You have to live in such a way that your writing emerges from it.
  • Writing is simple. First you have to make sure you have plenty of paper... sharp pencils... typewriter ribbon. Then put your belly up to the desk... roll a sheet of paper into the typewriter... and stare at it until beads of blood appear on your forehead.
  • Being a real writer means being able to do the work on a bad day.
  • If you copy from one author, it’s plagiarism; if you copy from two, it’s research.
  • An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations.
  • The great art of writing is the art of making people real to themselves with words.
  • Don't write until you're 25. Don't write for the high school yearbook. Don't write for the college literary magazine. Don't write for any of that stuff; you never had any experiences, you don't know anything. Just shut up.
  • Literature is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to people who have none.
    • [Jules Renard]]
  • A writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate. Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be understood. The writer wants to be understood much more than he wants to be respected or praised or even loved. And that perhaps, is what makes him different from others.
  • The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it.
  • The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.
  • Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.
  • Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.
  • The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.
  • Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it.
  • The natural writer hopes to communicate - to present somebody else his interpretation of life.
  • The shelf life of a modern hardback writer is somewhere between milk and yogurt.
  • Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing to say?