You write to communicate the hearts and

You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you.  And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.  ~Arthur Polotnik

The time to begin writing an article

The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction.  By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say.  ~Mark Twain

No one means all he says and

No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.  ~Henry Brooks Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, 1907, ch. 31, MBT p101

Every word born of an inner necessity

Every word born of an inner necessity – writing must never be anything else.  ~Etty Hillesum, quoted in Ten Fun Things to Do Before You Die by Karol Jackowski

One ought only to write when one

One ought only to write when one leaves a piece of one’s own flesh in the inkpot, each time one dips one’s pen.  ~Leo TolstoyPL

The writer writes in order to teach

The writer writes in order to teach himself, to understand himself, to satisfy himself; the publishing of his ideas, though it brings gratification, is a curious anticlimax.  ~Alfred Kazin, Think, February 1963LCD; In a very real sense, the writer writes in order to teach himself; to understand himself, to satisfy himself; the publishing of his ideas, though it brings gratifications, is a curious anticlimax. ~Alfred Kazin, DR, LCE

If i fall asleep with a pen

If I fall asleep with a pen in my hand, don’t remove it ? I might be writing in my dreams. ~Terri Guillemets

It is necessary to write if the

It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by.  How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?  For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone.  That is where the writer scores over his fellows:  he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.  ~Vita Sackville-West

One must be drenched in words literally

One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in them, to have the right ones form themselves into the proper pattern at the right moment.  ~Hart CranePL

An original writer is not one who

An original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate.  ~Chateaubriand, Le Génie du Christianisme, 1802LCD

Sleep on your writing take a walk

Sleep on your writing; take a walk over it; scrutinize it of a morning; review it of an afternoon; digest it after a meal; let it sleep in your drawer a twelvemonth; never venture a whisper about it to your friend, if he be an author especially. ~A. Bronson AlcottConcord Days, April: Scholarship. April 28, 1872; CTO

The land of literature is a fairy

The land of literature is a fairy land to those who view it at a distance, but, like all other landscapes, the charm fades on a nearer approach, and the thorns and briars become visible.  ~Washington Irving

It seems to me that those songs

It seems to me that those songs that have been any good, I have nothing much to do with the writing of them.  The words have just crawled down my sleeve and come out on the page.  ~Joan Baez

For me a page of good prose

For me, a page of good prose is where one hears the rain [and] the noise of battle.  ~John Cheever(1912 – 1982) US short-story writer, novelist Accepting National Medal for Literature; recalled on his death 18 Jun 1982

What i like in a good author

What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.  ~Logan Pearsall Smith, "All Trivia," Afterthoughts, 1931PMB, p235

Dancing in all its forms cannot be

Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?  ~Friedrich NietzschePL

A prose writer gets tired of writing

A prose writer gets tired of writing prose, and wants to be a poet.  So he begins every line with a capital letter, and keeps on writing prose.  ~Samuel McChord Crothers, "Every Man’s Natural Desire to Be Somebody Else," The Dame School of Experience, 1920

I asked ring lardner the other day

I asked Ring Lardner the other day how he writes his short stories, and he said he wrote a few widely separated words or phrases on a piece of paper and then went back and filled in the spaces.  ~Harold RossFD

Having imagination it takes you an hour

Having imagination, it takes you an hour to write a paragraph that, if you were unimaginative, would take you only a minute.  Or you might not write the paragraph at all.  ~Franklin P. Adams, Half a Loaf, 1927LCD

A synonym is a word you use

A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the other one. ~Baltasar Gracián, translated from Spanishmbt; Baltasar Gracian y Morales, Baltasar Graci?n y Morales

What would there be in a story

What would there be in a story of happiness?  Only what prepares it, only what destroys it can be told.  ~André GideSD

The good writing of any age has

The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone’s neurosis, and we’d have a mighty dull literature if all the writers that came along were a bunch of happy chuckleheads.  ~William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958LCD

Drama instead of telling us the whole

Drama, instead of telling us the whole of a man’s life, must place him in such a situation, tie such a knot, that when it is untied, the whole man is visible.  ~Leo TolstoyPL

And by the way everything in life

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.  ~Sylvia Plath

A writer and nothing else a man

A writer and nothing else:  a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right.  ~John K. Hutchens, New York Herald Tribune, 10 September 1961LCD

A good style should show no signs

A good style should show no signs of effort.  What is written should seem a happy accident.  ~W. Somerset Maugham, Summing Up, 1938LCD

The maker of a sentence launches out

The maker of a sentence launches out into the infinite and builds a road into Chaos and old Night, and is followed by those who hear him with something of wild, creative delight.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

If my doctor told me i had

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood.  I’d type a little faster.  ~Isaac AsimovDCMOO

Writing i think is not apart from

Writing, I think, is not apart from living.  Writing is a kind of double living.  The writer experiences everything twice.  Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind.  ~Catherine Drinker Bowen, Atlantic, December 1957LCD

The difference between the almost right word

The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.  ~Mark Twain, letter to George Bainton, 1888 (Thanks, Andrew & Barbara), variation of Josh Billings’ "Don’t mistake vivacity for wit, thare iz about az much difference az thare iz between lightning and a lightning bug."

How vain it is to sit down

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.  ~Henry David Thoreau, Journal, 19 August 1851MBT

Dialogue is not just quotation it grimaces

Dialogue is not just quotation. It is grimaces, pauses, adjustments of blouse buttons, doodles on a napkin, and crossings of legs. ~Jerome Stern, Making Shapely Fiction, 1991TPVgb p.14

Books want to be born i never

Books want to be born: I never make them.  They come to me and insist on being written, and on being such and such.  ~Samuel ButlerPL

It is the little writer rather than

It is the little writer rather than the great writer who seems never to quote, and the reason is that he is never really doing anything else.  ~Havelock EllisCUL

The pages are still blank but there

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.  ~Vladimir Nabakov

Let me walk through the fields of

Let me walk through the fields of paper
touching with my wand
dry stems and stunted
butterflies….
~Denise Levertov, "A Walk through the Notebooks"

There are men that will make you

There are men that will make you books, and turn them loose into the world, with as much dispatch as they would do a dish of fritters.  ~Miguel de CervantesQSO

Sit down and put down everything that

Sit down, and put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer.  But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.  ~Colette, Casual Chance, 1964LCD