Tag Archives: quotes about writing

Quotes About Books and Reading

Check out these inspiring quotes about books and the value of reading

I recently shared some quotes about writing, and in the past I’ve published two other posts with quotes about writing here and here. My favorite of all these is what the Bible says about writing. Here are some quotes about books.

Here are some related sayings, not about writing as much as quotes about books and the importance of reading.

quotes about books

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” – C.S. Lewis

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” -Frederick Douglass

“I read a book one day and my whole life was changed. “ -Orhan Pamuk

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” -Margaret Fuller

“I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.” -Jorge Luis Borges

“When I discovered libraries, it was like having Christmas every day.” -Jean Fritz

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” -Saint Augustine of Hippo

“When you read a book, you hold another’s mind in your hands.” -James Burke

“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” -Italo Calvino

“A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition,” -Henry Miller

“How marvelous books are, crossing worlds and centuries, defeating ignorance and, finally, cruel time itself.” -Gore Vidal

“A childhood without books – that would be no childhood. That would be like being shut out from the enchanted place where you can go and find the rarest kind of joy.” -Astrid Lindgren

“Books are the mirrors of the soul.” -Virginia Woolf

“I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.” -Robert Louis Stevenson

“A writer is, after all, only half his book. The other half is the reader and from the reader the writer learns.” -P.L. Travers

With these writing quotes in mind, let’s go find a good book to read.

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

Great Writing Quotes to Educate and Inform

We can find encouragement and instruction in reading great writing quotes

Two weeks ago I asked you to share your favorite quotes about writing.  Mine was “Omit needless words.” Here are some more great writing quotes.

Check out these quotes about writing.

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” -Toni Morrison

“If you don’t like someone’s story, write your own.” -Chinua Achebe

“Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.” -Harper Lee

“You do have a story inside you; it lies articulate and waiting to be written—behind your silence and your suffering.” -Anne Rice

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” -Stephen King

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

“Writing is the Latin of our times. The modern language of the people is video and sound.” -Lawrence Lessig

“Writing is thinking on paper.” -William Zinsser

“A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.” -William Faulkner

“If you write to impress it will always be bad, but if you write to express it will be good.” -Thornton Wilder

“You do have a story inside you; it lies articulate and waiting to be written—behind your silence and your suffering.” -Anne Rice

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” -Louis L’Amour

“Every writer I know has trouble writing,” -Joseph Heller

“A lot of people talk about writing. The secret is to write, not talk.” -Jackie Collins

“It is as easy to dream a book as it is hard to write one.” -Honore de Balzac, novelist

“Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.” -Stephen King

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” -Frank Herbert

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” -Gustave Flaubert

“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.”Isaac Asimov

“Words were not given to man in order to conceal his thoughts.” -José Saramago

“I read hungrily and delightedly, and have realized since that you can’t write unless you read.” -William Trevor

“Puns are the highest form of literature.” -Alfred Hitchcock

And given that:

“To write with a broken pencil is pointless.” -unknown

“A backward poet writes inverse.” –unknown

Which one of these is your favorite? What would you add?

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

What is the One Immutable Rule of Writing?

There is only one, single decree for you to obey as you write

What is the One Immutable Rule of Writing?If you spend any time at all learning about writing and working to improve your craft you will have heard all kinds of advice of what to do or not do. These are often presented as rules, incontrovertible requirements for us to follow. If we don’t, we will commit a cardinal sin of writing – and no serious writer wants to do that.

Unfortunately after a while we begin to hear rules that contradict one another. One person says to never do this and another tells us it’s okay or maybe even recommended. As an example of this insanity, consider some of the supposed rules I’ve heard about dialogue tags, that is, identifying the speaker:

  • Let the context indicate the speaker so you don’t need to use tags
  • Tag every piece of dialogue.
  • Avoid tags whenever possible.
  • Only use the tags of “said” and “asked.”
  • Never use “asked” for a question; use “said” instead.
  • Always write “said” and avoid all other tags.
  • You can have up to four pieces of dialogue without attribution.
  • Have no more than three pieces of dialogue without attribution.

Plus each person who advocates one of these rules pronounces it with the fervor of absoluteness. It makes my head spin.

These conflicting rules leave me in a quandary of which guru to follow. Whose advice wins? Recently one person who I respect greatly said to not use “then” in a narrative. It is implied and therefore a wasted word. Another person, who I also respect, politely responded, “I disagree,” and I’m sure he was holding back what he really thought.

Through all of this – and it took me too long to figure it out – I’ve realized there are no rules, not really. There are writing guidelines, recommendations, and best practices, but absolute rules do not exist – not really.

Every writing rule I’ve ever heard has been successfully broken by someone at some time. This means that the one rule of writing is: There are no rules. The one rule of writing is: There are no rules. Click To Tweet

Now don’t get carried away and disregard every piece of advice you hear on how to be a better writer. Don’t assume you can do whatever you want and get away with it.

Study writing. Learn the conventions. Navigate contradiction, and never assume anything is absolute – because it’s not. Whenever possible follow recommendations and adhere to best practices, but don’t be a slave to them either. Know expectations, and if you decide to ignore one, do so in an informed way and for the right reasons.

Now go write, and have fun.

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

Quotes About Writing From Long Ago

Here are three more quotes about writing to offer us encouragement and perspective:

  • “The secret of good writing is to say an old thing in a new way or a new thing in an old way.” -Richard Harding Davis, journalist and author (1864-1916)
  • “There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write.” -William Makepeace Thackeray, novelist (1811-1863)
  • “A writer — and, I believe, generally all persons — must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.” -Jorge Luis Borges, writer (1899-1986)

Do any of these inspire you in your writing? What is your favorite quote about writing?

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

Seven Quotes About Writing

Last week, I shared some biblical advice to writers. Here are some more items to ponder:

  1. “Writing, when properly managed, (as you may be sure I think mine is) is but a different name for conversation.” – Laurence Sterne, novelist and clergyman (1713-1768)
  2. “One day I was speeding along at the typewriter, and my daughter — who was a child at the time — asked me, ‘Daddy, why are you writing so fast?’ And I replied, ‘Because I want to see how the story turns out!'” -Louis L’Amour, novelist (1908-1988)
  3. “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin
  4. “In a given year, more people make a living as professional baseball players than as novelists.” – Thomas Smith
  5. “Don’t rewrite – relive.” – Ray Bradbury
  6. “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.” – J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
  7. “Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs.” – Pearl Strachan

Write on!

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

The Bible Advises Writers

I am a student of the Bible, reading and contemplating it daily. (See my blog posts about the Bible for some of my thoughts and observations.) With me becoming more serious about the art and craft of writing, I’ve begun to notice relevant writing insights in the Bible. Yes, the Bible advises writers.

The Bible Advises Writers

Consider these verses from the Bible that advises writers:

  • “The fool multiplies words.” -King Solomon (Ecclesiastes 10:14)
  • “I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account.” -Dr Luke (Luke 1:2-3)
  • “I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” -Job (Job 42:3)
  • “Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” -King Solomon (Ecclesiastes 12:12)
  • “I would rather speak five understandable words to help others than ten thousand words in an unknown language.” -Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 14:19)
  • “Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying?” -Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 14:9).

Rather or not you are a writer—or a student of the Bible—these are words worth considering. Yes, the Bible advises writers.

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!