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Writers And Writing Quotes


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They're fancy talkers about themselves, writers. If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.

This morning I took out a comma and this afternoon I put it back again.

Thought flies and words go on foot.

To write is to become disinterested. There is a certain renunciation in art.

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.

We are as much informed of a writer's genius by what he selects as by what he originates.

We like that a sentence should read as if its author, had he held a plough instead of a pen, could have drawn a furrow deep and straight to the end.

What I like in a good author is not what he says but what he whispers.

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.

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

When I am dead, I hope it may be said: 'His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.'

When you put down the good things you ought to have done, and leave out the bad ones you did do - well, that's Memoirs.

When you're a writer, you no longer see things with the freshness of the normal person. There are always two figures that work inside you, and if you are at all intelligent you realize that you have lost something. But I think there has always been this dichotomy in a real writer. He wants to be terribly human, and he responds emotionally, but at the same time there's this cold observer who cannot cry.

Why do writers write? Because it isn't there.

Write something, even if it's just a suicide note.

Writers are the engineers of human souls.

Writers aren't exactly people, they're a whole lot of people trying to be one person.

Writers should be read, but neither seen nor heard.

Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.

Writing has power, but its power has no vector. Writers can stir the mind, but they can't direct it. Time changes things, God changes things, the dictators change things, but writers can't change anything.


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