Writing Advice from the Greats

Quotes from writers about writing for writers. Sometimes, it helps knowing even the greats had trouble finding the inspiration or the perfect word; it’s comforting to know that they felt a little insecure, too.

“I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as he finishes the book.”
—Roald Dahl

“The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.”
—Robert Benchley

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
—Ernest Hemingway

“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”
—Virginia Woolf

“If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.”
—Peter Handke

“To defend what you’ve written is a sign that you are alive.”
—William Zinsser, WD

“If I had not existed, someone else would have written me, Hemingway, Dostoyevsky, all of us.”
—William Faulkner

“For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.”
—Catherine Drinker Bowen