Reading usually precedes writing. And the impulse to write is almost always fired by reading. Reading, the love of reading, is what makes you dream of becoming a writer.
The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any.
One hasn't become a writer until one has distilled writing into a habit, and that habit has been forced into an obsession. Writing has to be an obsession. It has to be something as organic, physiological and psychological as speaking or sleeping or eating.
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.
Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.
Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.
Writing comes more easily if you have something to say.
Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing.
Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money.
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.
If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.
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.
I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.
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.
Only ambitious nonentities and hearty mediocrities exhibit their rough drafts. It's like passing around samples of sputum.
How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar, familiar things new.
If you are a genius, you'll make your own rules, but if not - and the odds are against it - go to your desk no matter what your mood, face the icy challenge of the paper - write.
Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
Perhaps it would be better not to be a writer, but if you must, then write.
Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor.
A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head.
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.
To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.
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