Dr. Isaac Asimov, head-and-shoulders portrait,...

Dr. Isaac Asimov, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing slightly right, 1965 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Good writers define reality; bad ones merely restate it. A good writer turns fact into truth; a bad writer will, more often than not, accomplish the opposite.”  —Edward Albee

“Your source material is the people you know, not those you don’t know, but every character is an extension of the author’s own personality.”  —Edward Albee

“The act of writing is an act of optimism. You would not take the trouble to do it if you felt it didn’t matter.”  —Edward Albee

“Writing comes more easily if you have something to say.” — Sholem Asch

“How does one become a really prolific writer? The very first requirement is that a person have a passion for the process of writing. I mean he must have a passion for what goes on between the thinking of a book and its completion.”  — Isaac Asimov

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

“Whenever I have endured or accomplished some difficult task — such as watching television, going out socially or sleeping — I always look forward to rewarding myself with the small pleasure of getting back to my typewriter and writing something.”  — Isaac Asimov

“No iron can pierce the heart with such force as a period put just at the right place.”  — Isaac Babel

“A hero knows it takes hard work and a long time to get published; a fool thinks it should happen immediately, because he thinks he’s a hero already.” — James Scott Bell The Art of War for Writers

“A professional is someone who respects his trade, tries as hard as he can to perfect his work, and realizes that one failure isn’t the end of the world. Or two…or three.” Nathaniel Benchley

“The free-lance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.”  — Robert Benchley

“My stories run up and bite me on the leg – I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off.” — Ray Bradbury

“Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you’re doomed.”  — Ray Bradbury

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”— Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”  — Ray Bradbury

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t “try” to do things. You simply “must” do things.”  — Ray Bradbury

“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” — Ray Bradbury

“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” — Ray Bradbury

“You’ve got to love libraries. You’ve got to love books. You’ve got to love poetry. You’ve got to love everything about literature. Then, you can pick the one thing you love most and write about it.” — Ray Bradbury

“I still love books. Nothing a computer can do can compare to a book. You can’t really put a book on the Internet. Three companies have offered to put books by me on the Net, and I said, ‘If you can make something that has a nice jacket, nice paper with that nice smell, then we’ll talk.’ All the computer can give you is a manuscript. People don’t want to read manuscripts. They want to read books. Books smell good. They look good. You can press it to your bosom. You can carry it in your pocket.” — Ray Bradbury

“Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities and have them relate to other characters living with him.”  — Mel Brooks

“Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself.” — Truman Capote

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” — Anton Chekhov

“A good novel tells us the truth about it’s hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.”  — G.K. Chesterton

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” — Cicero

“Writing, for me, means humility. It’s a process that involves fear and doubt, especially if you’re writing honestly. ”  — Kiran Desai

“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader–not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”  — E.L. Doctorow

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

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”  — E.L. Doctorow

“And who better to save man’s humanity than the writer, the poet, the artist, since who should fear the loss of it more since the humanity of man is the artist’s life blood.”  — William Faulkner

“A writer needs 3 things: experience, observation, imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.”  — William Faulkner

“Folks try hard to understand. The public expects too much of present-day novelists. Read a book and let it go at that. You can read it in two days. It takes months to write one.”  — William Faulkner

“You don’t write because you want to say something; you write because you have something to say.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

“It is a great thing to write. To be no longer yourself, but to move in an entire universe of your own creation.”  — Gustave Flaubert

“It’s the process of writing and life that matters… We are trying to become sane along with our poems and stories.”  — Natalie Goldbreg

“Take out another notebook, pick up another pen, and just write, just write, just write. In the middle of the world, make one positive step. In
the centre of chaos, make one definitive act. Just write. Say yes, stay alive, be awake. Just write. Just write. Just write.”  — Natalie Goldberg

“Cats are dangerous companions for writers because cat watching is a near-perfect method of writing avoidance” — Dan Greenburg

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”  — Nathaniel Hawthorne

“A catless writer is almost inconceivable. It’s a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys.” — Barbara Holland

“They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But let me tell you, a story is worth a million pictures.”  — Randall Ingermanson

“A book should serve as the ax for the frozen sea within us.”   — Franz Kafka

“Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.” — Franz Kafka

“Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.” — Lawrence Kasdan

“What a man most wishes to hide, revise and un-say, is precisely what Literature is waiting and bleeding for.”   — Jack Kerouac

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

“Stories open up new paths, sometimes send us back to old ones, and close off still others. Telling and listening to stories we too imaginatively walk down those paths – paths of longing, paths of hope, paths of desperation.” — Arthur Kleinman

“Sometimes it’s eloquent and I don’t know what happened.”  — Tosca Lee

“There are three points of view from which a writer can be considered: he may be considered as a story teller, as a teacher, and as an enchanter.

“A major writer combines these three – storyteller, teacher, enchanter – but it is the enchanter in him that predominates and makes him a major writer.”  — Vladimir Nabokov

“All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. “Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”  — George Orwell

“To be the kind of writer you want to be, you must first be the kind of thinker you want to be.” — Ayn Rand The Art of Fiction

“Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.” — Jules Renard

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”  — Edgar Allan Poe

“Like most—maybe all— writers, I learned to write by writing and, by example, by reading books.” — Francine Prose

“What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he’s staring out the window.”  — Rudolph Erich Rascoe

“The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.” — Edwin Schlossberg

“Becoming a writer means being creative enough to find the time and the place in your life for writing.” — Heather Sellers

“Writing is not a profession, but a vocation of unhappiness.”  — Georges Simenon

“What I like in a good author isn’t what he says, but what he whispers.”  — Logan Pearsall Smith

“Fantasy flows in where fact leaves a vacuum.”  — Tom Stoppard

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”  — Henry David Thoreau

“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay you. If nobody offers within three years, sawing wood is what you were intended for.”  — Mark Twain

“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 that you really want to say.” — Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1902-1903

“The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”  — Mark Twain

“The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.”  — Mary Heaton Vorse

“Good writing is clear thinking made visible.”  — Bill Wheeler

“In a sense the world dies every time a writer dies, because, if he is any good, he has been a wet nurse to humanity during his entire existence and has held earth close around him, like the little obstetrical toad that goes about with a cluster of eggs attached to his legs.”  — E. B. White (Elwyn Brooks White)

“Commitment leads to action and action brings your dream closer.”  — Marcia Wieder

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”  — Oscar Wilde

“Writing is thinking on paper.”  — William Zinsser