Favourite Creative Writing Quotes by Topic

We achieve great things by standing on the shoulders of giants, so here is a collection of some of the best writing quote by great authors throughout history.

Some of them are moving, some are inspiring and some are just darn funny.

Especially the one about beating Jane Austen over the head with her own shin bone. 

Quotes about being successful as an author

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”
- Winston S. Churchill

“Almost anyone can be an author; the business is to collect money and fame from this state of being.”
- A. A. Milne

“There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money either.”
- Robert Graves

“It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.”
- Ernest Hemingway

Quotes about how authors find inspiration

“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.”
- Orson Scott Card

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
- Madeleine L'Engle

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
- Maya Angelou

“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it.”
- Lloyd Alexander

Quotes about the rules of writing


“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.“
W. Somerset Maugham

“You learn by writing short stories. Keep writing short stories. The money’s in novels, but writing short stories keeps your writing lean and pointed.”- Larry Niven 

“If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.”- Edgar Rice Burroughs 

Quotes about the nuts and bolts of writing

“The first draft of anything is shit.”- Ernest Hemingway

“It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.”- C. J. Cherryh

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”- Douglas Adams

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”- Mark Twain

“Always be a poet, even in prose.”- Charles Baudelaire

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
E. L. Doctorow

“My own experience is that once a story has been written, one has to cross out the beginning and the end. It is there that we authors do most of our lying.”- Anton Chekhov        

“Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.”- Henry David Thoreau

“Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles 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.”- Flannery O'Connor

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”- Jack Kerouac

Quotes about the perils of being an author

“I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.”- Erica Jong

“The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with.”- William Faulkner

“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.”- Gustave Flaubert

“A poet can survive everything but a misprint.”- Oscar Wilde

Random quotes about writing

“I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.- Stephen Kingthat.”- Stephen King

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.”- Isaac Asimov

“People love a happy ending. So every episode, I will explain once again that I don't like people. And then Mal will shoot someone. Someone we like. And their puppy.”- Joss Whedon

“I haven't any right to criticize books, and I don't do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”- Mark Twain