Monday, May 18, 2009

Some Words of Wisdom

I was looking through some quotes by writers for a project I'm working on, and some of the quotes were so good I thought I'd share them here.

"There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith

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

"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~ E.L. Doctorow

"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

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

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." ~William Wordsworth

"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

"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." ~Anton Chekhov

"Easy reading is damn hard writing." ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." ~Mark Twain

"Proofread carefully to see if you any words out." ~Author Unknown

"A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer." ~Karl Kraus

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

"I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork." ~Peter De Vries


Maryann Miller is an author and freelance editor. Her latest books are One Small Victory and Play it Again, Sam. Visit her Web site for information about her books and her editing services. If you have a good book, she can help you make it better. When she is not working, Maryann loves to play "farmer" on her little ranch in the beautiful Piney Woods of East Texas.

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  1. I like Anton Chekhov's quote the best. It's wonderful, isn't it.
    Thank you for reminding us of and telling us about those amazing quotes.
    Blessings, Star

  2. Thanks for gathering up these great quotes. I was a delightful way to take a break from (you guessed it) writing!

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  4. Thanks for sharing these. They are lovely and inspirational.

    Karen Walker

  5. I am a lover of quotations and love your collection. Of course Anais Nin is my favorite writer, so I like hers the best -- btw, you might be interested in reading my latest poetry collection, DEAR ANAIS: MY LIFE IN POEMS FOR YOU, the winner of Poetry for the 2009 Next Generation Indie Award.

    Visit my blog,

    Happy writing and I am curious about your project with quotes!


  6. Too great! E.L. Doctorow's cracked me up. I've sat in writing groups discussing what shrinks would have to say if we sat on the couch and said "I'm a novelist and my characters talk in my head." LOL


  7. I like this one, too:
    "I try to leave out the parts that people skip." -Elmore Leonard


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.


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