I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better. - A. J. Liebling

This book fills a much-needed gap. - Moses Hadas

I'm living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart. - e e cummings

Sometimes when reading Goethe I have the paralyzing suspicion that he is trying to be funny. - Guy Davenport

In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite. - Paul Dirac

From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it. - Groucho Marx

Manuscript: something submitted in haste and returned at leisure. - Oliver Herford

Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. - - Flannery O'Connor

Writers have two main problems. One is writer's block, when the words won't come at all, and the other is logorrhea, when the words come so fast that they can hardly get to the wastebasket in time. - Cecelia Bartholomew

Thank you for sending me a copy of your book. I'll waste no time reading it. - Moses Hadas

I don't really feel my poems are mine at all. I didn't create them out of nothing; I owe them to my relations with other people. - Robert Graves

I've always believed in writing without a collaborator, because where two people are writing the same book, each believes he gets all the worries and only half the royalties. - Agatha Christie

I'm not going to get into the ring with Tolstoy. - Ernest Hemingway

I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television. - Gore Vidal

Why don't you write books people can read? - Nora Joyce to her husband James

Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers. - T. S. Eliot

The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense. - Tom Clancy

There's many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher. - Flannery O'Connor

A poem is never finished, only abandoned. - Paul Valery

Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand -- a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods -- or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values. - Willa Cather

Poetry: the best words in the best order. - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

There was never a good biography of a good novelist. There couldn't be. He is too many people if he's any good. - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Critics are by no means the end of the law. Do not think all is over with you because you articles are rejected. It may be that the editor has his drawer full, or that he does not know enough to appreciate you, or you have not gained a reputation, or he is not in a mood to be pleased. A critic's judgment is like that of any intelligent person. If he has experience, he is capable of judging whether a book will sell. That is all.  - Lavina Goodell, junior editor, Harper's Bazaar, 18

Fiction is the truth inside the lie.  - Stephen King

There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn't because the book is not there and worth being written -- it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if you fail to find that form the story will not tell itself. - Mark Twain

Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn't matter. I'm not sure a bad person can write a good book, If art doesn't make us better, then what on earth is it for.  - Alice Walker

A man's best friends are his ten fingers. - Robert Collyer

Next to the originator of a good sentence is the first quoter of it. Many will read the book before one thinks of quoting a passage. As soon as he has done this, that line will be quoted east and west. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.  - E. M. Forster

A book is good company. It is full of conversation without loquacity. It comes to your longing with full instruction, but pursues you never.  - Henry Ward Beecher

The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read them.  - Samuel Butler

A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight. - Robertson Davies

All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.  - Ernest Hemingway

What I like best is a book that's at least funny once in a while... 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. That doesn't happen much, though.  - J. D. Salinger

Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.  - Henry David Thoreau

A word is dead When it is said, Some say. I say it just Begins to live That day.  - Emily Dickinson

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.  - Franklin, Benjamin

The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency - the belief that the here and now is all there is. - Allan Bloom

To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry.  - Gaston Bachelard

When we read a story, we inhabit it. The covers of the book are like a roof and four walls. What is to happen next will take place within the four walls of the story. And this is possible because the story's voice makes everything its own.  - John Berger

To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him and travel in his company. - Andre Gide

Whoever reads me will be in the thick of the scrimmage, and if he doesn't like it, if he wants a safe seat in the audience - let him read someone else.  - D. H. Lawrence

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.  - Harper Lee

I have never known any distress that an hour's reading did not relieve. - Montesquieu

When power leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. - John F. Kennedy

The best-laid schemes o mice and men Gang aft agley... - Robert Burns, "To a Mouse"

Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness. - Fyodor Dostoevsky

Slang is language which takes off its coat, spits on its hands -- and goes to work. - Carl Sandburg

Quotation, n. The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.  - Ambrose Bierce

Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.  - Ayn Rand

Start at once a bedside library and spend the last half hour of the day in communion with the saints of humanity. - Sir William Osler

Language has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone, and the word solitude to express the glory of being alone. - Paul Tillich

Decadence is a difficult word to use since it has become little more than a term of abuse applied by critics to anything they do not yet understand or which seems to differ from their moral concepts. - Ernest Hemingway

There is no friend as loyal as a book. - Ernest Hemingway

My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way. - Ernest Hemingway

Survival, with honor, that outmoded and all-important word, is as difficult as ever and as all-important to a writer. Those who do not last are always more beloved since no one has to see them in their long, dull, unrelenting, no-quarter-given-and-no-quarter-received, fights that they make to do something as they believe it should be done before they die. Those who die or quit early and easy and with every good reason are preferred because they are understandable and human. Failure and well-disguised cowardice are more human and more beloved. - Ernest Hemingway

Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don't know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use. - Ernest Hemingway

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector. This is the writer's radar and all great writers have had it. - Ernest Hemingway

Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day. - Ernest Hemingway

As for types like my own, obscurely motivated by the conviction that our existence was worthless if we didn't make a turning point of it, we were assigned to the humanities, to poetry, philosophy, painting -- the nursery games of humankind, which had to be left behind when the age of science began. The humanities would be called upon to choose a wallpaper for the crypt, as the end drew near. - Saul Bellow

Of all the arts in which the wise excel, nature's chief masterpiece is writing well. - Duke of Buckingham

It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process. - Henry James

Art teaches nothing, except the significance of life. - Henry Miller

Often while reading a book one feels that the author would have preferred to paint rather than write; one can sense the pleasure he derives from describing a landscape or a person, as if he were painting what he is saying, because deep in his heart he would have preferred to use brushes and colors. - Pablo Picasso

Not even the visionary or mystical experience ever lasts very long. It is for art to capture that experience, to offer it to, in the case of literature, its readers; to be, for a secular, materialist culture, some sort of replacement for what the love of god offers in the world of faith. - Salman Rushdie

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. - Henry David Thoreau

Good poetry seems too simple and natural a thing that when we meet it we wonder that all men are not always poets. Poetry is nothing but healthy speech. - Henry David Thoreau

Books, not which afford us a cowering enjoyment, but in which each thought is of unusual daring; such as an idle man cannot read, and a timid one would not be entertained by, which even make us dangerous to existing institution --such call I good books. - Henry David Thoreau

No poet or novelist wishes he were the only one who ever lived, but most of them wish they were the only one alive, and quite a number fondly believe their wish has been granted. - W. H. Auden

Writers like teeth are divided into incisors and grinders. - Walter Bagehot

Any writer, I suppose, feels that the world into which he was born is nothing less than a conspiracy against the cultivation of his talent. - James Baldwin

The free-lance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps. - Robert Benchley

Essential characteristic of the really great novelist: a Christ-like, all-embracing compassion. - Arnold Bennett

To write is to make oneself the echo of what cannot cease speaking -- and since it cannot, in order to become its echo I have, in a way, to silence it. I bring to this incessant speech the decisiveness, the authority of my own silence. - Maurice Blanchot

Writers seldom choose as friends those self-contained characters who are never in trouble, never unhappy or ill, never make mistakes, and always count their change when it is handed to them. - Catherine Drinker Bowen

Every writing career starts as a personal quest for sainthood, for self-betterment. Sooner or later, and as a rule quite soon, a man discovers that his pen accomplishes a lot more than his soul. - Joseph Brodsky

Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities and have them relate to other characters living with him. - Mel Brooks

Writers are the main landmarks of the past. - Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public. - Winston Churchill

To write what is worth publishing, to find honest people to publish it, and get sensible people to read it, are the three great difficulties in being an author. - Charles Caleb Colton

Writing isn't hard. It isn't any harder than ditch-digging. - Patrick Dennis

The writer isn't made in a vacuum. Writers are witnesses. The reason we need writers is because we need witnesses to this terrifying century. - E. L. Doctorow

Writing a novel without being asked seems a bit like having a baby when you have nowhere to live. - Lucy Ellman

Mr. Faulkner, of course, is interested in making your mind rather than your flesh creep. - Cliff Fadiman

The first thing an unpublished author should remember is that no one asked him to write in the first place. With this firmly in mind, he has no right to become discouraged just because other people are being published. - John Farrar

The best way to become a successful writer is to read good writing, remember it, and then forget where you remember it from. - Gene Fowler

He who does not expect a million readers should not write a line. - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

The writer probably knows what he meant when he wrote a book, but he should immediately forget what he meant when he's written it. - William Golding

A writer should be a joyous optimist. Anything that implies rejection of life is wrong for a writer. - George Gribbon

The characteristic of Chaucer is intensity: of Spencer, remoteness: of Milton elevation and of Shakespeare everything. - William Hazlitt

The strokes of the pen need deliberation as much as the sword needs swiftness. - Julia Ward Howe

A writer and nothing else; a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right. - John K. Hutchens

Never write anything that does not give you great pleasure. Emotion is easily transferred from the writer to the reader. - Joseph Joubert

As I take up my pen I feel myself so full, so equal to my subject, and see my book so clearly before me in embryo, I would almost like to try to say it all in a single word. - George C. Lichtenberg

The ambivalence of writing is such that it can be considered both an act and an interpretive process that follows after an act with which it cannot coincide. As such, it both affirms and denies its own nature. - Paul De Man

The trouble with young writers is that they are all in their sixties. - W. Somerset Maugham

The need to express oneself in writing springs from a mal-adjustment to life, or from an inner conflict which the adolescent (or the grown man) cannot resolve in action. Those to whom action comes as easily as breathing rarely feel the need to break loose from the real, to rise above, and describe it... I do not mean that it is enough to be maladjusted to become a great writer, but writing is, for some, a method of resolving a conflict, provided they have the necessary talent. - Andre Maurois

Writing crystallizes thought and thought produces action. - Paul J. Meyer

I am always interested in why young people become writers, and from talking with many I have concluded that most do not want to be writers working eight and ten hours a day and accomplishing little; they want to have been writers, garnering the rewards of having completed a best-seller. They aspire to the rewards of writing but not to the travail. - James A. Michener

I was brought up in the great tradition of the late nineteenth century: that a writer never complains, never explains and never disdains. - James A. Michener

A man writes to throw off the poison which he has accumulated because of his false way of life. He is trying to recapture his innocence, yet all he succeeds in doing (by writing) is to inoculate the world with a virus of his disillusionment. No man would set a word down on paper if he had the courage to live out what he believed in. - Henry Miller

Writing is the hardest way of earning a living, with the possible exception of wrestling alligators. - Olin Miller

The shelf life of the modern hardback writer is somewhere between the milk and the yogurt. - John Mortimer

Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck. - Iris Murdoch

I'm the kind of writer that people think other people are reading. - V. S. Naipaul

Most authors steal their works, or buy. - Alexander Pope

Great writers arrive among us like new diseases -- threatening, powerful, impatient for patients to pick up their virus, irresistible. - Craig Raine

What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he's staring out of the window. - Burton Rascoe

Really, in the end, the only thing that can make you a writer is the person that you are, the intensity of your feeling, the honesty of your vision, the unsentimental acknowledgment of the endless interest of the life around and within you. Virtually nobody can help you deliberately-many people will help you unintentionally. - Santha Rama Rau

Fundamentally, all writing is about the same thing; it's about dying, about the brief flicker of time we have here, and the frustration that it creates. - Mordecai Richler

I make no complaint. I am a writer. I do not accept my condition; I will strive to change it; but I inhabit it, I am trying to learn from it. - Salman Rushdie

What I like in a good author isn't what he says, but what he whispers. - Logan Pearsall Smith

Agatha Christie has given more pleasure in bed than any other woman. - Nancy Banks Smith

Writing is the continuation of politics by other means. - Philippe Sollers

Some American writers who have known each other for years have never met in the daytime or when both were sober. - James Thurber

A writer is dear and necessary for us only in the measure of which he reveals to us the inner workings of his very soul. - Leo Tolstoy

Write without pay until somebody offers to pay you. If nobody offers within three years, sawing wood is what you were intended for. - Mark Twain

The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. - Mary Heaton Vorse

I love being a writer, what I can't stand is the paperwork. - Peter De Vries

Once in seven years I burn all my sermons; for it is a shame if I cannot write better sermons now than I did seven years ago. - John Wesley

From the point of view of literature Mr. Kipling is a genius who drops his aspirates. From the point of view of life, he is a reporter who knows vulgarity better than any one has ever known it. - Oscar Wilde

We are nauseated by the sight of trivial personalities decomposing in the eternity of print. - Virginia Woolf

Writing is thinking on paper. - William Zinsser

A boy's story is the best that is ever told. - Charles Dickens

When we read of human beings behaving in certain ways, with the approval of the author, who gives his benediction to this behavior by his attitude towards the result of the behavior arranged by himself, we can be influenced towards behaving in the same way. - T.S. Eliot

A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors. - Henry Ward Beecher

Farewell we call to hearth and hall! Though wind may blow and rain may fall. We must away ere the break of day. Far over wood and mountain tall. - J.R.R. Tolkien {Lord of the Rings}

He didn't have to worry about jagged bottle-necks after all, or the microbes which might have been in the cheeseburgers from the Burger Ranch, for that matter. One of life's great truths is this: when one is about to be struck by a speeding six-hundred-pound Coke machine, one need worry about nothing else. {The Tommyknockers} - Stephen King

And then the whining schoolboy..., creeping like snail unwillingly to school... {As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII} - William Shakespeare

Sit down to write what you have thought, and not to think about what you shall write.  - William Cobbett

A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green. {from 'Of Mice and Men'} - John Steinbeck

America is not a young land: it is old and dirty and evil before the settlers, before the Indians. The evil is there waiting. - William S. Burroughs

In six pages I can't even say hello. - James Michener

Nobody ever comitted suicide while reading a good book, but many have while trying to write one.  - Robert Byne

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read.  - Oscar Wilde

Publish and be damned. - Duke of Wellington

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.  - Dorothy Parker

The most valuable of talents is that of never using two words when one will do. - Thomas Jefferson

Quotation, n. The act of repeating erroneously the words of another. - Ambrose Bierce

Good writing is essentially clear thinking made visible.  - Ambrose Bierce

I've put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that's the only way of insuring one's immortality. - James Joyce

We shall find peace. We shall hear angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds. (1860-1904 - Russian author, playwright)  - Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

If you want to develop your creativity, establish regular work habits. Allow time for the incubation of ideas, and adhere to your individual rhythm. Violations of this rhythm can retard your creative efficiency. - Eugene Raudsepp