The Quotable Writer


I love quotes and I’ve pulled my copy of Familiar Quotations by John Bartlett off the shelf so much that the spine has split.  If I’m ever marooned or serve time, the only book I’ll need is Bartlett’s Quotes.

Scattered throughout my house are small volumes of quotes about writers, gardeners, and general observations about my fellow man and woman.  Here are some favorite quotes on writing and authors:

The wastepaper basket is the writer’s best friend.
Isaac B. Singer

Publishing a volume of verse is like dripping a rose-petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.
Don Marquis

I try to leave out the parts that people skip.
Elmore Leonard

Get dressed.

There is never a good time to write.
P.D. James

A writer is like a bean plant- he has his little day, and then gets stringy.
E. B. White

A poem . . . begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. .  .It finds the thought and the thought finds the words.
Robert Frost

Everyone who words in the domain of fiction is a bit crazy.  The problem is to render this craziness interesting.
Francois Truffaut

Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency . . . to get the book written.  If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the Ode on a Grecian Urn is worth any number of old ladies.
William Faulkner

To be a woman and a writer
is double mischief, for
the world will slight her
who slights “the servile house,” and who
would rather
make odes than beds.
Dilys Laing

Do you know a good quote about writers or writing?  Send it in!  Best quote gets a free copy of my novel which should be out in a few weeks.

Credit for these quotes goes to The Writer’s Quotation Book, A Literary Companion, edited by James Charlton; Familiar Quotations compiled by Mr. Bartlett; Writers on Writers, compiled by Graham Tarrant; and the back shelves of my memory.


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