Read What 27 Writers Think About Writers

Read What 27 Writers Think About Writers

After studying and writing the article on Quotation Marks, and working on a resume for one of my favorite writing tools (Grammarly’s Handbook), a desire was born inside me all of a sudden to find out what other writers are saying about… writers.

Therefore, I compiled several special quotes from what 27 writers, have said about writers.

First, let me add to this list, what Grammarly has stated.

Our favorite writers may seem like heroes to us, but they went through many of the same struggles we face today. The most inspirational quotes by writers are often for writers, and they each address a specific problem. ~ Grammarly® Blog

Voltaire

“Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another.”

Voltaire


Margaret Atwood

“Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy – which many believe goes hand in hand with it – will be dead as well.”

Margaret Atwood


Neil Gaiman

“You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.”

Neil Gaiman


W. H. Auden

“Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.”

W. H. Auden


Will Self

“The paradox of modernism is, writers make the decision to work with the continuous present, and to work with… stream of consciousness, as it’s called, for emotional reasons, and the main emotional reason is verisimilitude. I mean, this is what surprises people: Life is not in the simple past.”

Will Self


Barry Hannah

“I found out about reviews early on. They’re mostly written by sad men on bad afternoons. That’s probably why I’m less angry than some writers, who are so narcissistic they consider every line of every review, even a thoughtful one, as major treason.”

Barry Hannah


Robert A. Heinlein

“There is no way that writers can be tamed and rendered civilized or even cured. The only solution known to science is to provide the patient with an isolation room, where he can endure the acute stages in private and where food can be poked in to him with a stick.”

Robert A. Heinlein


Ross MacDonald

“We writers, as we work our way deeper into our craft, learn to drop more and more personal clues. Like burglars who secretly wish to be caught, we leave our fingerprints on broken locks, our voiceprints in bugged rooms, our footprints in the wet concrete.”

Ross MacDonald


Paulo Coelho

“Writers are lampposts and critics are dogs. Ask lampposts what they think about dogs. Does the dog hurt the lamppost?”
“Today, writers want to impress other writers.”

Paulo Coelho


Louis C. K.

“I don’t have a room full of writers pitching ideas. It’s just me out of my head.”

Louis C. K.


Barbara Walters

“The world may be full of fourth-rate writers but it’s also full of fourth-rate readers.”

Barbara Walters


Aldous Huxley

“Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.”

Aldous Huxley


Chuck Palahniuk

“My best advice for writers is: Have your adventures, make your mistakes, and choose your friends poorly – all these make for great stories.”

Chuck Palahniuk


Isaac Asimov

“From my close observation of writers… they fall into two groups: 1) those who bleed copiously and visibly at any bad review, and 2) those who bleed copiously and secretly at any bad review.”

Isaac Asimov


Ray Bradbury

“You can’t learn to write in college. It’s a very bad place for writers because the teachers always think they know more than you do – and they don’t. They have prejudices. They may like Henry James, but what if you don’t want to write like Henry James? They may like John Irving, for instance, who’s the bore of all time.”

Ray Bradbury


John Irving

“I think that writers are, at best, outsiders to the society they inhabit. They have a kind of detachment, or try to have.”

John Irving


Tom Stoppard

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you’re dead.”

Tom Stoppard


Lillian Hellman

“If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don’t listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.”

Lillian Hellman


Salman Rushdie

“Writers have an opinion about the world and offer arguments about the world. They should offer contemplation.”

Salman Rushdie


J. Michael Straczynski

“Writers write for one reason: to create an emotion in the reader, to reach across and make them feel something. You want a reaction. Yeah, it’s nicer when the reaction is to throw flowers than it is to throw brickbats, but you have to accept both equally.”

J. Michael Straczynski


William Gibson

“Dreaming in public is an important part of our job description, as science writers, but there are bad dreams as well as good dreams. We’re dreamers, you see, but we’re also realists, of a sort.”

William Gibson


James Patterson

“A lot of writers fall in love with their sentences or their construction of sentences, and sometimes that’s great, but not everybody is Gabriel Garcia Marquez or James Joyce. A lot of people like to pretend that they are, and they wind up not giving people a good read or enlightening them.”

James Patterson


Mo Yan

“I think writers write for their consciences, they write for their own true audiences, for their souls.”

Mo Yan


W. Somerset Maugham

“The trouble with young writers is that they are all in their sixties.”

W. Somerset Maugham


Isabel Allende

“Many fiction writers write for the critics or for themselves; they forget the common reader. I never do. I don’t think journalism clashes with my fiction; on the contrary, it helps enormously.”

Isabel Allende


Chinua Achebe

“Many writers can’t make a living. So to be able to teach how to write is valuable to them. But I don’t really know about its value to the student. I don’t mean it’s useless. But I wouldn’t have wanted anyone to teach me how to write.”

Chinua Achebe


E. L. Doctorow

“Writers are not just people who sit down and write. They hazard themselves. Every time you compose a book your composition of yourself is at stake.”

E. L. Doctorow


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2 Comments
  1. Your welcome, Lee! And… Thank you, too 🙂

  2. Well, Barbra Walters made me laugh the biggest or most. LOL!!
    Mo Yan, was a bull eye, i mean how can bodies write if it weren’t for the soul feeding them stories.
    Neil Gaiman, thought on daydreaming, I felt was accurate and I wonder if there should be a class added to the public education system called “DAYDREAMING” and maybe even one could get a degree in this and maybe a minor in “NIGHTDREAMING” and the difference in the two and how this new field may help solve some of the social ills society faces today. Also kids get bored in school these days, so there is probably a ton of but writers in class but they have to sit still and well there is just no time to develop these minds so much and extract the insights they have hiding in their recesses but it is all a game so no worries as we will get to where we are going, by hook or crook.
    Regarding W. H. Auden: expressing ones perspective on matters will be the vehicle for both originality and authenticity to travel together. http://www.gwennseemel.com/…/originality_perspective/
    I did a bit of reading on the difference between the two and then just modified the idea and she never even mentions the word “au-then-tic-ity” so, speak from you perspective and one should not have to worry about either being A or O!
    Paulo Coelho: I like Paulo’s perspective and have not red any of this works, but I am familiar with him as far as reading a bio sometime ago and seeing his quotes on FB. You can always add to or subtract from what a writer has shared as they are like a builder building a house and cannot include a lll the conditions and descriptions regarding a certain topic
    I personally perfer to be relavent and express deep hidden treasures that enable humanity to connect reality and a higher reality to enable society to begin to find their way and live at peace with themselves.
    I can relate to Louis C. K. being out of his head LOL!!!
    Aldous Huxley I felt expressed the heart of a writer pretty well!
    Chuck I seem to relate to his thoughts as well ahahah!!!
    John Irving shot an arrow in my heart! LOL!
    Tom Stoppard: I have never felt that a writer was sacred and I really can relate to his perspective of right ones in right order as to me is more like playing with chemistry of emotions.
    I like Lillian, thoughts as I have done this without trying just because I was too busy doing what Salman Rushdie offered without knowing it and that is, I have been too busy contemplating how the world works rather than listening to every one else tell me how it does work and I did this unknowingly as I was not attempting to not listening to me it was just that I was deaf to a point growing up.
    Regarding J. M Straczynski, I never thought about making others feel an emotion, I just try to make sense of things and resolve these long standing puzzles tha have plagued humanity for a very long time so we could stop the fighting and get on with living.
    To W. Gibson I can see this in me being an HVAC guy as for me I felt like I was playing Hodini, receiving a service call and then having to figure a way of escape as quick as I could and understand where the secret button was to make the unit come back to life with a 20 degree delta T or somewhere close and make the customer feel like they had a wonderful experience. I was not as good as Hodini and died many a deaths. Thanks MC!

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