Quotations: Writers on Writing, Volume II

12 More Quotes from Writers on Writing

The beauty of writers is that writers honestly have a more creative way of discussing their profession; writers love to write about the art of writing, the bullshit that comes along with publishing, and the bursts of creativity and long spells of hard work that are needed to get the right words in the right combination on the page.

In continuation of the Writer’s Remorse series Writer's on Writing,  I’ve included more of my personal favorite quotes on writing from a variety of different authors.


1.  We are as much informed by a writer’s genius by what he selects as by what he originates. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

2.  When an author is living, we estimate his powers by his worst performance; and when he is dead, we rate them by his best.-Samuel Johnson

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

4.  How can I know what I think til I see what I say? -E.M Forster

5.  A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. -Virginia Woolf

6.  Your manuscript is both good and original; but the parts that are good are not original and the parts that are original are not good. -Samuel Johnson

7.  Proper words in proper places, make the true definition of style. -Jonathon Swift

8.  If you would be a reader, read; if a writer, write. -Epictetus

9.  The llama is a woolly sort of goat,
With an indolent expression and an undulating throat-
Like an unsuccessful literary man. -Hilaire Belloc

10.  All a writer has to do to get a woman is to say he’s a writer. It’s an aphrodisiac. -Saul Bellow

11.  An editor should tell the author that his writing is better than it is. Not a lot better, a little better. -T.S. Eliot

12.  How can you write if you can’t cry? -Ring Lardner