I offer a collection of quotes about the sum of writing. Please feel free to share them, ponder them, or comment on them. Remember, they are for writers, not because I doubt the comprehension of others, but because…to be honest, others will not understand.
Ninety percent of the work of writing is internal, and only ten percent happens at the typewriter. – Anonymous
It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state others are paying large sums to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard
An author must keep his mouth shut when his work starts to speak. – Friedrich Nietzsche
But how do you court the Muse. How do you get Inspiration to approach? Without which you feel your lack of identify? – Anonymous
The imagination is not subject to the will of the artist. To accept the fruits as gifts is to acknowledge that we are not their owners or masters, that we are, if anything, their servants, their ministers. –Lewis Hyde
There is no pleasure in the world like writing well and going fast. It’d like a love affair, it goes on and on, and doesn’t end in marriage. It is all a courtship. – Tennessee Williams
The problem is when you are not writing you don’t know if you are lying fallow or if you will never write again. – Norman Mailer
If the artist does not fling himself, without reflecting, into his work, as Curtis flung himself into the yawning gulf, as the soldier flings himself into the enemy’s trenches, and if, once in this crater, he does not work like a miner on whom the walls of his gallery have fallen in; if he contemplates difficulties instead of overcoming them one by one…he is simply looking on at the suicide of his own talent.- Honore de Balzac
In science there is a dictum: don’t add an experiment to an experiment. Don’t make things unnecessarily complicated. In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don’t ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story.- Ben Bova
Inspiration and select quotes taken from the book, “For Writers Only” by Sophie Burnham
If you would like to offer your own quote and have it join the weekly list, please email your quote, and your name (or pen name) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please entitle the email, In Their Own Words.