Bob Bly Copywriter/Internet Marketing Strategist test

Writing Quotations

“Don't give up. The writers whose books you love, whose books fill your shelves and nightstands, who you have memorized, made beloved, quoted, and shared, are the ones who didn't give up. Work to build resilience into your practice, and just keep writing.”
-Megan Baxter

“Every writer thinks someone else is working on his subject; it is part of the paranoid state of mind necessary for the completion of the infinitely postponable task of writing.”
-Janet Malcolm

“For a writer—or anyone in the arts, really—not doing something that involves risk is a path to a slow death.”
-Robert McCammon

“Think not of the books you’ve bought as a ‘to be read’ pile. Instead, think of your bookcase as a wine cellar. You collect books to be read at the right time, the right place, and the right mood.”
-Luc van Donkersgood

“Writing is something you do alone. It's a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don't want to make eye contact while doing it.”
-John Green

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
-E.L. Doctorow

“Writers only have one story to tell. And that’s our story. And we dress is up in different clothes and different times and places, but it’s still our story.”
-Elizabeth Engstrom

“Language is a map leading to a place not on the map.”
-Simon Van Booy

“My house is a library with living rooms attached.”
-Bernard Berenson

“Along my walls bookshelves sit full of great works. Writings and episodes which reveal in their pages the secrets of the….world.”
-Kev Freeman

“Every great or even every very good writer makes the world over according to his own specifications.”
-Raymond Carver

“My own philosophy is that one should share what wisdom he has, one should help others to help themselves and one should keep going despite heavy weather, for there is always a calm ahead.”
-L. Ron Hubbard

“My agent Mas Wilkinson wrote to me after I complained about what a disagreeable profession I had: ‘Dear Kurt – I never knew a blacksmith who was in love with his anvil.’”
-Kurt Vonnegut

“For the sake of the pay envelope on the first of each month, I passed my days in captivity.”
-W.W. Jacobs on having worked as a post office clerk

“Many people are tired simply because they are not interested in anything...You only lose energy when life becomes dull in your mind.”
-Norman Vincent Peale

“I think most writers, even the best, overwrite. I prefer to underwrite. Simple, clear as a country creek.”
-Truman Capote

“If the writing can’t be made as good as it is within us to make it, then why do it?”
-Raymond Carver

“It’s quite common to enter a library and find yourself in conversation with the dead. The best minds of generations long gone crowd every bookshelf. They wait there to be noticed, to be addressed, and to reply in turn. In the library the dead meet the living on collegial terms a a matter of course, every day.”
-Joe Hill

“The peculiarity of being a writer is that the entire enterprise involves the mortal humiliation of seeing one’s words in print.”
-Joan Didion

“The peculiarity of being a writer is that the entire enterprise involves the mortal humiliation of seeing one’s words in print.”
-Joan Didion

“You might be surprised at the wisdom and knowledge old books can have.”
-Kevin Michael Guest

“I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.”
-Roger Zelazny

“Write what you enjoy writing. Don't write for money or follow the trends of what might be selling at the time. Write something that you cannot only be proud of, but also enjoy the process of writing.”
-Christopher J. Moore

“I have always been a firm believer in my right to do anything I cannot be stopped from doing. I give everything I am at the moment to what I write and I enjoy it in the same capacity.”
-Roger Zelazny

“A writer is always alone with the dreams. And when the dreams are rejected, there is a time when the only God they know—the validity of their talent--is up for question. Those who see the greener grass in a writer’s territory never understand that terror.”
-Harlan Ellison

“The truth is, it’s not the idea, it’s never the idea, it’s always what you do with it.”
-Neil Gaiman

“Long patience and application saturated with your heart's blood—you will either write or you will not—and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try.”
-Jim Tully

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

“Your books are second only to you in importance. Readers will only keep buying your books and tell everyone they know to read them if your books deliver.”
-David Hancock

“Success means your thinking coincides with a need.”
-Hugh Kenner, literary critic

“I’ve written 6 books and spent 12 years doing it. Twelve years is a long time to be doing anything. But I’ve learned the longer you stay on one track, the harder it becomes to imagine changing your profession. And like anything in life, part of commitment to a single direction means conviction, immersion, honing your skills, and getting damn good at what you do.”
-Tony Vanderwarker

“The nature of most good writing is you find out things as you go along.”
-Anne Lamott

“I write because I love writing. It doesn't matter what genre. I want to write something so unique and different that my children's children's children will someday read it and say, ‘My great-great-grandma wrote that -- she sure was a character! I wish I had known her.”
-C.J. Heck

“The slowness of book reading, its gradual nature, is beneficial. Books provide a kind of corner in life where you can go and sit and collect your thoughts. You can grow and put ideas together in new ways that you cannot when you are only looking for what you know is already there, as with search engines on the Internet.”
-James Mustich, Jr.

“The process of writing is a lonely endeavor. You miss out on time spent with family and friends, hoping the words you're putting down will entertain basic strangers out there in the insane world.”
-Hunter Shea

“I started writing when I was eight—out of the blue…not knowing that I had chained myself for life to a noble but merciless master.”
-Truman Capote

“I must write. If I stop writing my life will be an abject failure…I will not have earned death.”
-Jean Rhys

“To take my work seriously would be the height of folly.”
-Edward Gorey

“I receive about two hundred pieces of mail a day. Most of it is the sort of casual conversation that glutes the email chute. The kind of thing that we used to write in a brief letter or postcard—and because we actually had to do the job in a finite space, we tried to keep the imbecile blather to a minimum.”
-Harlan Ellison

“Advice for writers: There are stories everywhere within view, within range … [and] the one essential quality is curiosity, in my opinion, and the energy to go out and learn about the world and about people who lead unique lives, who dwell in obscure places.”
-Gay Talese

“Within words….you drink those sentences down, and they prop up the dreams you keep inside you, and they spark something up there in your brain, and when you’re done you’ve got a bellyful of the most dangerous liquor on earth … you’ve got yourself a story … one you can really believe.”
-Norman Patridge

“My advice to writers just starting out? Don’t use semicolons. All they do is suggest you might have gone to college.”
-Kurt Vonnegut

“The secret of great writing is that it is as much what you do as what you don’t do. While there is no common definition of great, all great books have the common feature of lacking content that isn’t great. Great books do not contain ‘un-great’ stuff.”
-Dawn Field (Book Baby, 8/4/22)

“It’s a strange thing to be a writer, to argue with yourself about the way things are and should be, and committing those arguments to paper for others to read. It requires a level of self-awareness shaped by tireless observation of the world, and an internal dialogue picking that same world apart.”
-Lisa Bubert

“What is a good writer? Well, in my opinion a good writer is one who makes things perfectly clear. He makes it easy for the reader. Easy to understand what he is saying, easy to keep reading.”
-Gary Halbert

“To create: not to make something out of nothing, but to make order out of chaos…a creative writer does not make up new words but arranges familiar words in patterns which say something fresh to us.”
-Harold S. Kushner

"My advice to writers would be to aggressively seek the truth –forget about your ego—and do one more draft than your agent tells you to.”
-Jonathan Karp

“If you have a story to tell, the most important thing is the story, not the form you use to shape it.”
-Patricia Smith

“Two percent of the people think, three percent think they think, and 95 percent of the people would rather die than think.”
-George Bernard Shaw

“If you have any young friends who aspire to be writers, shoot them now, while they’re happy.”
-Dorothy Parker

“It is a delicious thing to write, to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creating.”
-Gustav Flaubert

“The freedom to choose or reject ideas, to read books of our choice, and to publish freely is the very bedrock of our free society. The First Amendment is a prohibition of governmental interference with free speech.”
-Kurt Vonnegut

“Typewriters are the stepping stones to any high office.”
-Ayn Rand, “We the Living” film, 80th anniversary edition.

“For even in the age of digitalization the bookshelf remains a popular and beloved icon. Every day, thousands of scientists, clergymen, artists, and politicians are posed by photographers and cameramen before bookshelves, patently in hopes that their filmed ten-second-statements will thereby somehow gain in gravity. A world growing faster day by day stands in desperate need of such unambiguous signs. To this day, the bookshelf seems to serve that particular end.”
-Burkhard Spinnen, ‘The Book An Homage”

“Writing is not a profession on which one embarks under duress. No one forces anyone to become a writer. No one even asks him. He writes because he enjoys writing, and if he doesn’t enjoy it he should get out of the profession.”
-Leslie McFarlane, “Ghost of the Hardy Boys” (Godine, 2022, p. 268).

“Sometimes I've called writing a disease. If so, I'm glad it caught me. I've never walked into this room and looked at this typewriter without feeling that something somewhere, some strange gods or something utterly unnamable has touched me with a blithering, blathering and wondrous luck that holds and holds and holds.”
-Charles Bukowski, “On Writing” (Ecco)

"Everybody does have a book in them, but in most cases that's where it should stay."
-Christopher Hitchens

"A writer never has a vacation. For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing."
-Eugene Ionesco

"To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man."

“When the research and writing is going well, the work itself provides a positive return. When the work is hard, I remind myself that the [writing] has a purpose, and I value that purpose. And that, to me, justifies the work and time. “
-Mark Ford