Quotes for Writers on Writing

From The Atlantic:

Here are a few favorites:

“Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two. This you cannot do without temperance.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Don’t ever write a novel unless it hurts like a hot turd coming out.” ~ Charles Bukowski

“Breathe in experience, breathe out poetry.” ~ Muriel Rukeyser

“Begin with an individual and you find that you have created a type; begin with a type and you find that you have created — nothing.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

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

“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.” ~ T. S. Eliot

“Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.” ~ Stephen King

“Good fiction is made of what is real, and reality is difficult to come by.” ~ Ralph Ellison

“Listen, then make up your own mind.” ~ Gay Talese

“Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut

“Write without pay until somebody offers pay; if nobody offers within three years, sawing wood is what you were intended for.” ~ Mark Twain

 

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • http://newsongchurchkpt.org Craig Cottongim

    I just got James Scott Bell’s latest book on writing, “Conflict & suspense” to sharpen my writing skills, but I have to say, I really love that last quote by Twain…

  • http://patridew.wordpress.com Patricia

    These are all great quotes. Thanks for compiling them. What a very interesting way to think of great fiction, “…The truth in side the lie!”

  • http://thesometimespreacher.blogspot.com/ Andy Holt

    I have no idea who Charles Bukowski is, but he just became my favorite writer.

  • anjali

    A good collection, especially Mark Twain!!


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