101 Empowering Quotes from Authors

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Stephen King Quotes

Stephen King knows a thing or two about opening lines.  In fact, he’s gotta be one of, if not THE Master of openings. In an interview for Atlantic Magazine in 2013 he said …

“When I’m starting a book, I compose in bed before I go to sleep. I will lie there in the dark and think. I’ll try to write a paragraph. An opening paragraph. And over a period of weeks and months and even years, I’ll word and reword it until I’m happy with what I’ve got. If I can get that first paragraph right, I’ll know I can do the book.”

This is one quote I come back to over again when I finally find the time to sit down and put my thoughts on paper. Over the years I have collected many inspiring and funny quotes from Authors and/or about writing, which I would like to share, and hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do. Some inspire, some make you think, others are brilliant and some simply funny.

Happy Friday and Happy Writing to all Authors out there.  Let’s start with some quotes from THE MASTER himself.


Stephen King

  1. “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” – Stephen King
  2. “Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” – Stephen King
  3. “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” – Stephen King
  4. “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.” – Stephen King
  5. “Either get busy living or get busy dying.” – Stephen King
  6. “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.” – Stephen King
  7. “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King
  8. “The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.” – Stephen King
  9. “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” – Stephen King
  10. “Hearts can break. Yes. Hearts can break. Sometimes I think it would be better if we died when they did, but we don’t.” – Stephen King
  11. “Every book you pick up has its own lesson or lessons, and quite often the bad books have more to teach than the good ones.” – Stephen King
  12. “The place where you made your stand never mattered. Only that you were there… and still on your feet.” – Stephen King
  13. “And as a writer, one of the things that I’ve always been interested in doing is actually invading your comfort space. Because that’s what we’re supposed to do. Get under your skin, and make you react.” – Stephen King
  14. “And in real life endings aren’t always neat, whether they’re happy endings, or whether they’re sad endings.” – Stephen King
  15. “We like to think about how smart we are. But I think talent as a writer is hard-wired in, it’s all there, at least the basic elements of it. You can’t change it any more than you can choose whether to be right handed or left handed.” – Stephen King
  16. “Life is like a wheel. Sooner or later, it always come around to where you started again.” – Stephen King
  17. “I’m still in love with what I do, with the idea of making things up, so hours when I write always feel like very blessed hours to me.” – Stephen King
  18. “You have to stay faithful to what you’re working on.” – Stephen King
  19. “When asked, ‘How do you write?’ I invariably answer, ‘one word at a time.’ ” – Stephen King
  20. “You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.” – Stephen King
  21. “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us get up and go to work.” – Stephen King
  22. “Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; it’s work. … Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighbourhood can stand for everything.” – Stephen King

 Ernest Hemingway

  1. “All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened.” – Ernest Hemingway
  2. “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” – Ernest Hemingway
  3. “It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.” – Ernest Hemingway
  4. “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” – Ernest Hemingway
  5. “When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature.” – Ernest Hemingway

Ray Bradbury

  1. “I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.” – Ray Bradbury
  2. “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” – Ray Bradbury
  3. “Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.” – Ray Bradbury
  4. “I don’t believe in being serious about anything. I think life is too serious to be taken seriously.” – Ray Bradbury
  5. “When I graduated from high school I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library 3 days a week for 10 years.” – Ray Bradbury

 Roald Dahl

  1. “I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as he finishes the book.” – Roald Dahl
  2. “A writer of fiction lives in fear. Each new day demands new ideas and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not”. – Roald Dahl
  3. “A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” – Roald Dahl
  4. “Nowadays you can go anywhere in the world in a few hours, and nothing is fabulous anymore.” – Roald Dahl
  5. “An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details.” – Roald Dahl
  6. “We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it.” – Roald Dahl
  7. “So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall.” – Roald Dahl
  8. “A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.” – Roald Dahl
  9. “Two hours of writing fiction leaves this writer completely drained. For those two hours he has been in a different place with totally different people.” – Roald Dahl
  10. “If I had my way, I would remove January from the calender altogether and have an extra July instead.” – Roald Dahl

Terry Pratchett

  1. “Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.” – Terry Pratchett
  2. “The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.” – Terry Pratchett
  3. “Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.” – Terry Pratchett
  4. “In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.” – Terry Pratchett
  5. “It’s not worth doing something unless you were doing something that someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing.” – Terry Pratchett
  6. “Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.” – Terry Pratchett
  7. “Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.” – Terry Pratchett
  8. “Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.” – Terry Pratchett
  9. “Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.” – Terry Pratchett
  10. “The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.” – Terry Pratchett
  11. “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” – Terry Pratchett

Oscar Wilde

  1. “The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.” – Oscar Wilde
  2. “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” – Oscar Wilde

Others

  1. “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” – Larry L. King, WD
  2. “Style means the right word. The rest matters little.” – Jules Renard
  3. “The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.” – Philip Roth 
  4. “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” – Mark Twain
  5. “I don’t think of literature as an end in itself. It’s just a way of communicating something.” – Isabel Allende
  6. “The words of my book nothing, the drift of it everything.” – Walt Whitman
  7. “All readers come to fiction as willing accomplices to your lies. Such is the basic goodwill contract made the moment we pick up a work of fiction.” – Steve Almond
  8. “No man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring two pence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” – CS Lewis.
  9. “You don’t have to say everything to say something.” – Beth Moore
  10. “A real book is not one that’s read, but one that reads us.” – W.H. Auden
  11. “Writing a book is like telling a joke and having to wait 2 years to know whether or not it was funny.” – Alain de Botton
  12. “Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” – Orson Scott
  13. “If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.” – Tennessee Williams
  14. “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do…Try to be better than yourself.” – John Steinbeck
  15. “In five minutes the earth would be a desert, and you cling to books.” – Elias Canetti
  16. “The character that lasts is an ordinary guy with some extraordinary qualities.” – Raymond Chandler
  17. “I am like a little pencil in God’s hand. He does the writing. The pencil has nothing to do with it.” – Mother Teresa
  18. “Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.” – G.K. Chesterton
  19. “Write something that’s worth fighting over. Because that’s how you change things. That’s how you create art.” – Jeff Goins
  20. “Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!” – Job 19
  21. “The dearest ones of time, the strongest friends of the soul—BOOKS.” – Emily Dickinson
  22. “The great work must inevitably be obscure, except to the very few, to those who like the author himself are initiated into the mysteries. Communication then is secondary: it is perpetuation which is important. For this only one good reader is necessary.” – Henry Miller
  23. “Let us answer a book of ink with a book of flesh and blood.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  24. “The writer is an explorer. Every step is an advance into a new land.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  25. “A novel is an impression, not an argument; and there the matter must rest.” – Thomas Hardy
  26. “Art is not about thinking something up. It is the opposite — getting something down.” – Julia Cameron
  27. “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne
  28. “Know that the Creator lives and moves and breathes within you. So those dreams? Risk them. Those words? Write them. Those hopes? Believe them.” – Elora Nicole Ramirez
  29. “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do…Try to be better than yourself.” – John Steinbeck
  30. “A writer should have this little voice inside of you saying, Tell the truth. Reveal a few secrets here.” – Quentin Tarantino
  31. “A writer falls in love with an idea and gets carried away.” – Doris Lessing
  32. “I’m not patient at all. I avoid writer’s block by writing. I power through with a bad version, so I can move on, and usually once I’ve gotten to the next scene, I’ll discover what was missing from the bad version scene. Then I can easily rewrite it to get back on the right path.” – Anders Holm
  33. “Books worth reading are worth re-reading.” – Holbrook Jackson
  34. “Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.” – Rod Serling
  35. “If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.” – Wally Lamb
  36. “The relationship between critic and writer is similar to the one between the pigeon and the statue.” – Ashwin Sanghi
  37. “A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” – George R. R. Martin
  38. “A literary creation can appeal to us in all sorts of ways—by its theme, subject, situations, characters. But above all it appeals to us by the presence in it of art. It is the presence of art in Crime and Punishment that moves us deeply rather than the story of Raskolnikov’s crime.” – Boris Pasternak
  39. “The waste basket is the writer’s best friend.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer
  40. “The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.” – Anais Nin
  41. “Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.” – Hunter S. Thompson
  42. “Everybody else is working to change, persuade, tempt and control them. The best readers come to fiction to be free of all that noise.” – Philip Roth
  43. “One sure window into a person’s soul is his reading list.” – Mary B. W. Tabor
  44. “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” – Harper Lee
  45. “Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.” – Henry David Thoreau
  46. “Writers are always selling somebody out.” – Joan Didion

And there you have it.  101 quotes empowering quotes from authors to make you think, smile and motivate.  If you have any others you would like to add for an updated post in a few months, please feel free to add them to the comments section below.