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30 Quotes About Writing to Put in Your Journal

Kennedi Brown has written fiction under a pen name for years now. She plays the ukulele and writes songs no one will ever hear (hopefully).

Get some ideas for quotes to put in your journal for when you need inspiration.

Get some ideas for quotes to put in your journal for when you need inspiration.

Quotes About Writing for Your Journal

Putting inspirational and writing-related quotes on various pages in your writing journal can help keep you going, especially if the quote is from a famous author and is about him/her experiencing some of the same difficulties with the writing process that you experience. Scribble them all over the front, put them on the dividers, stick them on random pages—whatever and wherever you want! Believe me when I say that reading over them when you're in a tough spot can work wonders.

  • "Some stories are true that never happened." —Elie Weisel
  • "You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." —Ray Bradbury
  • "Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." —E.L. Doctorow
  • "I try to leave out the parts that people skip." —Elmore Leonard
  • "If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." —Toni Morrison
  • "I'm not a very good writer, but I'm a very good rewriter." —James Michener
  • "The wastebasket is a writer's best friend." —Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • "Fill your paper with the breathings of your own heart." —William Wordsworth
  • "Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." —Anton Chekov
  • "Easy reading is damn hard writing." —Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • "Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very'; your editor will delete it, and the writing will be just as it should be." —Mark Twain
  • "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." —Ernest Hemingway
  • "When writing a novel, a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature." —Ernest Hemingway
  • "My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living." —Anais Nin
  • "All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath." —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • "True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, as those who move easiest have learned to dance." —Alexander Pope
  • "Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterward." —Robert A. Heinlein
  • "Good writing is like a windowpane." —George Orwell

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.

— Anton Chekhov

  • "Nothing matters but the writing. There has been nothing else worthwhile . . . a stain upon the silence." —Samuel Beckett
  • "Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers." —Isaac Asimov
  • "In my writing, I am acting as a map maker, an explorer of psychic areas, a cosmonaut of inner space, and I see no point in exploring areas that have already been thoroughly surveyed." —William S. Burroughs
  • "However great a man's natural talent may be, the act of writing cannot be learned all at once." —Jean-Jaques Rousseau
  • "I am a drinker with writing problems." —Brendan Behan (my favorite)
  • "You fail only if you stop writing." —Ray Bradbury
  • "If the writing is honest, it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it." —Tennessee Williams
  • "When I stop working, the rest of the day is posthumous. I'm only really alive when I'm writing." —Tennessee Williams
  • "Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar." —E.B. White
  • "The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe." —Gustave Flaubert
  • "Writing is a dog's life, but the only life worth living." —Gustave Flaubert
  • "For me, life is writing, and I can do it anywhere. It doesn't matter where I am. I listen. I write. I live." —Maynard James Keenan

Comments on September 26, 2015:

Not trying to nitpick, but please double-check the spelling of the writers' names you're quoting. Ernest Hemingway. ERNEST Hemingway.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on June 01, 2012:

perhaps one of my quotes will make your journal

ElleBee on June 01, 2012:

I am a huge quote person! I have a whole google doc just for quotes, and I love these ones. I tried to pick a favorite, but not having much luck! They're all good. I think Singer's "the wastebasket is a writer's best friend" one sticks out the most to me right now. Made me giggle, despite all its truth.

Chloe from Minnesota on June 01, 2012:

I love this so much. I keep an inspiration journal full of writing prompts and quotes and other inspiring things I find in books about writing.

For anyone who uses twitter follow the user @AdviceToWriters. They post some really good quotes and links to fun stuff.