(The links take you to the author and book pages on Goodreads.com)
- I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction or poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all.”
― Stephen King, On Writing
“Writing is supposed to be difficult, agonizing, a dreadful exercise, a terrible occupation.”
― Ray Bradbury , Zen in the Art of Writing(See Update below)
- “What do you want? What are you willing to give up to get it? Writing requires you make sacrifices. Be prepared to work hard to be a writer.”
― Sandra Brown
- “I never had any doubts about my abilities. I knew I could write. I just had to figure out how to eat while doing this. [Cormac McCarthy’s Venomous Fiction, New York Times, April 19, 1992]”
― Cormac McCarthy
- “The first thing you have to learn when you go into the arts is to learn to cope with rejection. If you can’t, you’re dead.”
― Warren Adler
- “There is nothing harder to estimate than a writer’s time, nothing harder to keep track of. There are moments—moments of sustained creation—when his time is fairly valuable; and there are hours and hours when a writer’s time isn’t worth the paper he is not writing anything on.”
― E.B. White, One Man’s Meat
- “…nearly everything seems a letdown after a writer has finished writing something.”
― John Irving, The World According to Garp
- “If you can’t stand your own company alone in a room for long hours, or, when it gets tough, the feeling of being in a locked cell, or, when it gets tougher still, the vague feeling of being buried alive–then don’t be a writer.”
― Graham Swift
- “Every author, however modest, keeps a most outrageous vanity chained like a madman in the padded cell of his breast.”
― Logan Pearsall Smith
- “Coming up with ideas is the easiest thing on earth. Putting them down is the hardest.”
― Rod Serling
- “Literature is the ditch I’m going to die in. It’s still the thing I care most about.”
― Thomas McGuane
- “Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.
― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
- “There are three certainties in a writer’s life: death, taxes, and rejection letters.”
― T.L. Rese
- There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.― Ernest Hemingway
How’s that for scary?
UPDATE: Thanks to George “Bradbury Fan” (see comments below) for pointing out that the Bradbury quote is taken out of context. What’s stated is actually the opposite of what Bradbury believed about writing.
UPDATE: Okay — now it’s 13. That makes the list really scary.