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Top Advice From 31 Famous Writers

So I’m totally BURIED at the moment, writing my new book on diverse characters for Oldcastle books, so here’s some great insights and tips on writing from uber-famous writers. Enjoy!

1) Stephen KingStephen King

2) Anne Frank

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”

3) Franz Kafka

“A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.”

4) Saul Bellow

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”

5) Anais Nin

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

6) Aldous Huxley

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”

7) William Wordsworth

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”

8) Annie Proulx

“You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.”

9) Ernest Hemingway

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

10) William Faulkner

“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”

11) Kurt Vonnegut

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”

12) Jackie Collins

“If you want to be a writer-stop talking about it and sit down and write!”

13) W. Somerset Maugham

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

14) Ray BradburyRay Bradbury

15) Sylvia Plath

“Some things are hard to write about. After something happens to you, you go to write it down, and either you over dramatize it, or underplay it, exaggerate the wrong parts or ignore the important ones. At any rate, you never write it quite the way you want to.”

16) Neil Gaiman

“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”

17) Maya Angelou

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

18) Isaac Asimov

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.”

19) Anton Chekhov

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

20) Aristotle

“To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man.”

21) C.S Lewis

“You can make anything by writing.”

22) Madeleine L’Engle

“You have to write the book that wants to be written.”

23) Mark Twain

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

24) Joss Whedon

“I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of. ”

25) Virginia Woolf

“Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.”

26) Louis L’Amour

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

27) Dorothy Parker

“I hate writing, I love having written.”

28) Henry David Thoreau

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”

29) Thomas Mann

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

30) Nora Roberts

“You can fix anything but a blank page.”

31) Toni Morrison Toni Morrison

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1 thought on “Top Advice From 31 Famous Writers”

  1. Regarding no.19 – “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” – the following my be of interest:

    “In conclusion, QI believes that Anton Chekhov probably did not say or write the statement under investigation. However, he did express a similar idea in a letter to his brother… QI does not know who crafted the short form…” []

    It’s an interesting read on how this statement may have come about.

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