17 of the Best Author Quotes Ever

  1. “The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing: isolated, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination and consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing and soul-crushing inadequacy. And that’s on a good day.”

~ Robert De Niro

  1. “I always start writing with a clean piece of paper and a dirty mind.”

~ Patrick Dennis

  1. “Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.”

~ Hunter S. Thompson

  1. “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”

~ George Orwell

  1. “Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally there’s an explosion—that’s Plot.”

~ Leigh Brackett, WD

  1. “One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.”

~ Lawrence Block, WD

  1. “I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.”

~ William Carlos Williams

  1. “If you tell the reader that Bull Beezley is a brutal-faced, loose-lipped bully, with snake’s blood in his veins, the reader’s reaction may be, ‘Oh, yeah!’ But if you show the reader Bull Beezley raking the bloodied flanks of his weary, sweat-encrusted pony, and flogging the tottering, red-eyed animal with a quirt, or have him booting in the protruding ribs of a starved mongrel and, boy, the reader believes!”

~ Fred East, WD

  1. “I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.”

~ Tom Clancy, WD

  1. “There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be.”

~ Doris Lessing

  1. “When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.”

~ Stephen King, WD

  1. “The writing life is essentially one of solitary confinement – if you can’t deal with this you needn’t apply.”

~ Will Self

  1. “Be your own editor/critic. Sympathetic but merciless!”

~ Joyce Carol Oates

  1. “The nearest I have to a rule is a Post-it on the wall in front of my desk saying ‘Faire et se taire’ (Flaubert), which I translate for myself as ‘Shut up and get on with it.’”

~ Helen Simpson

  1. “Fiction that isn’t an author’s personal adventure into the frightening or the unknown isn’t worth writing for anything but money.”

~ Jonathan Franzen

  1. “The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.”

~ Philip Roth

  1. “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”

~ Stephen King