What’s Your Favorite Writing Quote?

In getting ready for my CampNaNo experience, I started trolling my books and the Internet for good writing quotes. Here are a few of my favorites:

“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.”
― Anaïs Nin

(That is the kind of writer I aspire to be. This quote is on a Post-It note where I can see it while I write.)

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
― Richard Bach

(Right now, I’m an amateur but I’m not quitting!)

“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.”
― Natalie GoldbergWriting Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

(I’m working on it. I do this in my journal—I didn’t always—but I’m also trying to get this kind of writing on the page in my current WIP.)

“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.”
― Anne LamottBird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

(This is the best advice on writing I’ve ever read. If it wasn’t for Anne Lamott and Bird by Bird, I would never have started writing again after fifteen years of avoiding it.)

“The problem is acceptance, which is something we’re taught not to do. We’re taught to improve uncomfortable situations, to change things, alleviate unpleasant feelings. But if you accept the reality that you have been given- that you are not in a productive creative period- you free yourself to begin filling up again.”
― Anne LamottBird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

(One last quote by Anne Lamott. Accepting where I am in my writing life has been freeing for me. Instead of complaining I didn’t have any time to write, I started noticing the little pockets of time I did have and using them to write. I’m not writing a thousand words a day (most days) but I get something on the page just about every day. Success!)

What’s your favorite writing quote? Please share in the comments.

Diane MacKinnon, MD, Master Certified Life CoachDiane MacKinnon, MD: is a writer, blogger, life coach, and family physician. I’m in the midst of CampNaNo, which is exciting and fun, but I’m also on an elimination diet so I’m spending way more time in the kitchen than I had intended to when I signed up for CampNaNo. Oh well, by the end of July I’ll have my 25,000 words written and I’ll know if I’m allergic to soy, dairy, etc!

31 thoughts on “What’s Your Favorite Writing Quote?

  1. “At its best, the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace. It is handed to you, but only if you look for it. You search, you break your heart, your back, your brain, and then — and only then — it is handed to you.” – Annie Dillard

  2. Love your quotes. I just did a 3 day, 3 quote challenge with quotes about writing for my blog! And I’m also in camp nanowrimo. 🙂 The quote I selected and discussed in today’s post is: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” E.L.Doctorow

  3. There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed – Ernest Hemingway

    Writing Is Easy; You Just Open a Vein and Bleed –
    Thomas Wolfe? Red Smith? Paul Gallico? Friedrich Nietzsche? Ernest Hemingway? Gene Fowler? Jeff MacNelly? Anonymous?

  4. Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.
    Virginia Woolf

  5. From Stephen King’s, On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft:

    “You must not come lightly to the blank page.”

    “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut”

    “You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you” .

    “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that”

  6. Feel her tears in your eyes. Feel his anger in your throat. Hear the child’s laugh in your ears and the parents comforting words coming from your lips. Now … place the sadness, the anger, the happiness, and the love on your pages.

    Anyway, that’s how I feel about it.

  7. Life is life not matter how hard it can be. To be honest i’m disabled and i’m not the only one who thinks life is rubbish. I’m sorry thats just the way i feel.

  8. The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
    Gustave Flaubert

    I do believe that writing from the soul is the very difference in writing for the sake of doing something, and writing to change someone’s life; often our own. (me 🙂

  9. Pingback: Right now, I’m an amateur but I’m not quitting!) | want to share

  10. TO FLY, we have to have RESISTANCE. – Maya Lin

    Maya Lin is an Artist and the Designer of the Vietnam Memorial…and resistance is in every aspect of writing – during the creation and development of a story, certainly the revisions, and even right down to the publishing and marketing process.
    Let’s fly.

  11. My favorite quote is from Don Murray … “Writing helps me discover what I didn’t know I knew.” Thanks for assembling these quotes! Couldn’t we all just go on for days? : )

  12. Writing is all about bowling yorker to the readers and they should be bold.
    Writing is a dream in which you put the reality.

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