21 Inspirational Quotations on the Writing Life

21 Inspirational Quotationson the Writing Life

A new year has ticked around, and today, in cities and towns all around the world, millions of writers are clocking in. There’s not a punch clock at every workplace, but writers are clocking in nonetheless.

They are returning to their desks, dusting off their keyboards, and yes, a few are even sharpening their pencils.

They are ready to face another day in the writing life. But this is not just any old day at the office. For each writer, …

Click To TweetThis is going to be a day of action. Crafting sentences.
Composing a masterpiece, one word at a time.

So here’s to writers everywhere… to the writing life, and all that we are going to achieve in 2017!

Let’s kick off the new year with these inspirational quotations on the writing life. They’re from some famous writers who know our profession very well.

The Writer Is An Explorer

“The writer is an explorer. Every step is an advance into a new land.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

No Other Prison Than A Library

“I would desire to have no other prison than a library, and to be chained together with as many good authors.” ~ Robert Burton

Torture A Typewriter Until It Screams

“I get up in the morning, torture a typewriter until it screams, then stop.” ~ Clarence Budington Kelland

I love writing

“I love writing.  I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.” ~ James Michener

Just Continue To Write

“That’s very nice if they want to publish you, but don’t pay too much attention to it. Just continue to write.” ~ Natalie Goldberg

I Write for the Same Reason I Breathe

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

Making Other Chances

“I’ve never quite believed that one chance is all I get. Writing is my way of making other chances.” ~ Anne Tyler

Kill the idea of the lone, suffering artist

“Kill the idea of the lone, suffering artist. Don’t make it any harder on yourself.” ~ Natalie Goldberg

If You Can't Quit You're A Writer

“If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, you’re a writer.” ~ R.A. Salvatore

Let them think you were born that way

“It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

Writing is the Only Thing

“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” ~ Gloria Steinem

The Role of a Writer

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

More tormenting than writing

“The only thing more tormenting than writing is not writing.” ~ Cynthia Ozick

6 Minutes to Live Write Faster

“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 have to try

“The one ironclad rule is that I have to try. I have to walk into my writing room and pick up my pen every weekday morning.” ~ Anne Tyler

Tomorrow May Be Hell

“Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.” ~ Neil Gaiman

Amateurs wait for inspiration

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” ~ Stephen King

It is impossible to discourage the real writers

“It is impossible to discourage the real writers – they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write.” ~ Sinclair Lewis

The Older He Gets The Better He Writes

“If you’re a singer you lose your voice. A baseball player loses his arm. A writer gets
more knowledge, and if he’s good, the older he gets, the better he writes.”
~ Mickey Spillane

[Ed’s Note: please feel free to substitute “she” for “he”] 

Love the work or the rewards

“I believe that you either love the work or the rewards. Life is a lot easier if you love the work.” ~ Jane Smiley

Inspirational Quotations on the Writing Life

“When I sit down at my writing desk, time seems to vanish. I think it’s a wonderful way to spend one’s life.” ~ Erica Jong

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please take a moment to share the link to this page with your friends and followers.

Here is a Shortlink to make it easier: bit.ly/WrLife

Also, I’d love to see your comments below. Which was your favorite quote? Do you know of any other good quotations on the writing life?

Gary McLaren

Gary McLaren is an author and digital entrepreneur. He blogs at Writers Unplugged and manages Worldwide Freelance Writer. He's been helping writers online for more than 16 years. You can also follow Gary on social media at Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

9 Responses

  1. Al X. Griz says:

    Great, Gary! Even better than the earlier ones from 5/16. Cracking my knuckles to get started on a new project…

  2. Coral Nichols says:

    Thank you Gary, for sharing those quotes, it has been a kick start for my procrastinating self. Holidays are over … now to work.

  3. Ferial I. Haque says:

    These inspirational quotations from great minds are so true. Isaac Asimov as I know is a Chemist! Yet he finds life in expressing himself through his well chosen words – a good reason to breath…

    I survived the war, migrated to another land and continued to breath to begin a new life. Only to express my inner self in words – with either pen or pencil – crafting each letter on a blank paper as if it was my Canvas to paint… I did not care whether my topic was ‘Science or Society.’ Each day I was engaged in writing and speaking to earn a living…

  4. Gary, Thank you for the new list of inspirational quotes. Such encouragement.. we all need it from time to time and the quotes are great to share. Frances

  5. Ferial I. Haque says:

    Thank you for you valuable on my life story to inspire someone.

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