85 Writing Quotes By Famous Authors For Your Writing Inspiration

85 Writing Quotes by famous authors

The writing process starts with a writer’s inspiration. Read these writing quotes by famous authors to help your motivation.

You can close your eyes and wait for the thoughts and feelings to arrive to get your good writing ideas flowing. But sometimes, the waiting can seem like forever.

You can try to listen to music or watch television to find sources of inspiration. You might go for a walk to do a little people-watching.

Or, seeing as you are here, you can read some author quotes about writing.

Finding your writing inspiration

All good writers know how the process works or doesn’t work when they sit down to write a story or even blog posts.

Some might call it a writer block, writer’s block, laziness, or procrastination.

But it doesn’t matter what you call it. It is part and parcel of creative writing.

From the time you started writing, you must have experienced this idea void many times.

If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for your writing, you might take inspiration from Ray Bradbury.

He famously said, “Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.”

This quote encourages writers to make a habit of writing and to trust in the process of generating ideas.

Stephen King, the author of bestselling novels like The Shining and It, said, “The scariest moment is always just before you start.”

Perhaps the next time it happens, the inspirational words of famous authors and writers on writing may help.

I have to start my list of great writing quotes by famous authors with my all-time favorite author.


85 Writing quotes by famous authors and writers


Douglas Adams

writing quotes by famous authors - Douglas Adams

  1. “At the end of all this being-determined-to-be-a-jack-of-all-trades, I think I’m better off just sitting down and putting a hundred thousand words in a cunning order.” – Douglas Adams

2. “It’s an odd feeling, actually typing ‘qwerty’ as a word; try it, and you’ll see what I mean.” – Douglas Adams

3. “I get very worried about this idea of art. Having been an English literary graduate, I’ve been trying to avoid the idea of doing art ever since. I think the idea of art kills creativity.” – Douglas Adams

4. “Capital letters were always the best way of dealing with things you didn’t have a good answer to.” – Douglas Adams

5. “I find that writing is a constant battle with exactly the same problems you’ve always had.” – Douglas Adams

6. “It takes an awful lot of time to not write a book.” – Douglas Adams

7. “You cannot see what I see because you see what you see. You cannot know what I know because you know what you know.

What I see and what I know cannot be added to what you see and what you know because they are not of the same kind. Neither can it replace what you see and what you know, because that would be to replace you yourself.”

“Hang on, can I write this down?” said Arthur, excitedly fumbling in his pocket for a pencil.” – Douglas Adams

8. “When the idea comes, I often can’t remember where it came from. I remember very little about writing the first series of Hitchhikers. It’s almost as if someone else wrote it.” – Douglas Adams

9. “There’s nothing worse than sitting down to write a novel and saying, “Well, okay, I’m going to do something of high artistic worth.” It’s funny.” – Douglas Adams

10. “The books people are writing today, they’re too long.

You get a little bit of plot, and then pages and pages of Creative Writing. They teach classes in how to do this. They should teach classes in how to stop!” – Douglas Adams


Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury

11. “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” – Ray Bradbury

12. “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” – Ray Bradbury

13. “Let the world burn through you. Throw the prism light, white-hot, on paper.” -Ray Bradbury

14. “I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.” – Ray Bradbury

15. “Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.” – Ray Bradbury


Madeleine L’Engle

Madeleine L'Engle

16. “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

17. “Just because we don’t understand doesn’t mean that the explanation doesn’t exist.” – Madeleine L’Engle

18. “Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.” – Madeleine L’Engle

19. “We can’t take any credit for our talents. It’s how we use them that counts.” – Madeleine L’Engle

20. “Artistic temperament sometimes seems a battleground, a dark angel of destruction and a bright angel of creativity wrestling.” – Madeleine L’Engle

21. “That’s the way things come clear. All of a sudden. And then you realize how obvious they’ve been all along.” – Madeleine L’Engle

22. “Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.” – Madeleine L’Engle


Stephen King

Quotes by Stephen King

23. “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” – Stephen King

24. “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.” – Stephen King

25. “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.” – Stephen King

26. “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King

27. “The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them.” – Stephen King

28. “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King

29. “Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” – Stephen King

30. “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” – Stephen King


Mark Twain

Quotes by Mark Twain

31. “Write what you know.” – Mark Twain

32. “Don’t say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.”- Mark Twain

33. “A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.”- Mark Twain

34. “It takes a heap of sense to write good nonsense”- Mark Twain

35. “One should never use exclamation points in writing. It is like laughing at your own joke.”- Mark Twain

36. “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”- Mark Twain

37. “The test of any good fiction is that you should care something for the characters; the good to succeed, the bad to fail. The trouble with most fiction is that you want them all to land in hell together, as quickly as possible.”- Mark Twain

38. “To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself…

Anybody can have ideas–the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.” – Mark Twain

39. “I conceive that the right way to write a story for boys is to write so that it will not only interest boys but strongly interest any man who has ever been a boy. That immensely enlarges the audience.”- Mark Twain

40. “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”- Mark Twain

41. “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”- Mark Twain


Ernest Hemingway

Quotes by Ernest Hemingway

42. “My working habits are simple: long periods of thinking, short periods of writing.” – Ernest Hemingway

43. “In order to write about life first you must live it.” – Ernest Hemingway

44. “Writing is something that you can never do as well as it can be done. It is a perpetual challenge and it is more difficult than anything else that I have ever done–so I do it. And it makes me happy when I do it well.” – Ernest Hemingway

45. “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” – Ernest Hemingway

46. “Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.” – Ernest Hemingway

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

48. “As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.” – Ernest Hemingway

49. “A man’s got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book.” – Ernest Hemingway

50. “I have to write to be happy whether I get paid for it or not. But it is a hell of a disease to be born with. I like to do it. Which is even worse. That makes it from a disease into a vice.

Then I want to do it better than anybody has ever done it which makes it into an obsession. An obsession is terrible. Hope you haven’t gotten any. That’s the only one I’ve got left.” – Ernest Hemingway

51. “My attitude toward punctuation is that it ought to be as conventional as possible. The game of golf would lose a good deal if croquet mallets and billiard cues were allowed on the putting green.

You ought to be able to show that you can do it a good deal better than anyone else with the regular tools before you have a license to bring in your own improvements.” – Ernest Hemingway


Isaac Asimov

Quotes by Isaac Asimov

52. “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.” – Isaac Asimov

53. “Writing is a lonely job. Even if a writer socializes regularly, when he gets down to the real business of his life, it is he and his typewriter or word processor. No one else is or can be involved in the matter.” – Isaac Asimov

54. “It’s the writing that teaches you.” – Isaac Asimov

55. “It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition.” – Isaac Asimov

56. “Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.” – Isaac Asimov

57. “I write for the same reason I breathe … because if I didn’t, I would die.” – Isaac Asimov

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


Sylvia Plath

Quotes by Sylvia Plath

59. “Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.” – Sylvia Plath

60. “I write only because There is a voice within me That will not be still.” – Sylvia Plath

61. “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath

62. “Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.” – Sylvia Plath

63. “Some things are hard to write about. After something happens to you, you go to write it down, and either you over dramatize it, or underplay it, exaggerate the wrong parts or ignore the important ones.

At any rate, you never write it quite the way you want to.” – Sylvia Plath

64. “I could never be a complete scholar or a complete housewife or a complete writer: I must combine a little of all, and thereby be imperfect in all.” – Sylvia Plath

65. “I must be lean and write and make worlds beside this to live in.” – Sylvia Plath

66. “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


R. L. Stine

 R. L. Stine

67. “I’ve had a very sheltered life. What can happen to you if you stay home writing all day?” – R. L. Stine

68. “If you want to be a writer, don’t worry so much about writing. Read as much as you can. Read as many different writers as you can. Soak up the styles.” – R. L. Stine

69. “People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it.

Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.” – R. L. Stine

70. “I started writing when I was 9 years old. I was like this weird kid who would just stay in my room, typing little funny magazines and drawing comic strips.” – R. L. Stine

71. “If you do enough planning before you start to write, there’s no way you can have writer’s block. I do a complete chapter by chapter outline.” – R. L. Stine

72. “I’ve never dreamed of a story idea. I have such boring dreams.” – R. L. Stine

73. “I should be concentrating on writing pages.” – R. L. Stine


Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka

74. “I write differently from what I speak, I speak differently from what I think, I think differently from the way I ought to think, and so it all proceeds into deepest darkness.” – Franz Kafka

75. “All language is but a poor translation.” – Franz Kafka

76. “There are some things one can only achieve by a deliberate leap in the opposite direction.” – Franz Kafka

77. “I do not see the world at all; I invent it.” – Franz Kafka

78. “The purpose of a story is to be an axe that breaks up the ice within us.” – Franz Kafka

79. “Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” – Franz Kafka

80. “A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.” – Franz Kafka


William Faulkner

William Faulkner

81. “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.” ― William Faulkner


Some fun writing quotes to finish

Funny writing quotes by famous authors

82. “When I was a little boy, they called me a liar, but now that I am a grown-up they call me a writer.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer

83. “Writing is a socially acceptable form of getting naked in public.” – Paulo Coelho

84. “About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment.” – Josh Billings

85. “A bad review may spoil your breakfast, but you shouldn’t allow it to spoil your lunch.” – Kingsley Amis


Are you inspired by all these writing quotes by famous authors?

I am sure you are now more than ready to get back to writing your novel, your short stories, or perhaps your next blog post.

It will be much more productive than reading writing quotes.


Related Reading: 55 Funny English Grammar Rules To Help You Write Better

4 thoughts on “85 Writing Quotes By Famous Authors For Your Writing Inspiration”

  1. Love this one!
    thanks for sharing, a few of them I still havent heard of til now…
    Keep up the great work, u r such a great help for me and sure so many other!

  2. I LOVE these quotes. My favorite authors on the craft of writing (and then their own beautiful prose) include Madeleine L’Engle and Ray Bradbury.

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