Toni Morrison Writing Quote

50 Inspiring Quotes About Writing

All writers know the drill. Things are going great, you’re speeding along on a new draft or just finished a story you’re proud of. Then it hits. Maybe it’s writer’s block, self-doubt, or your internal critic getting in the way. Either way, you need a little inspiration to keep going. This page is a collection of 50 inspiring quotes to get you through those challenges and remind you of the magic of writing.

“That’s what fiction is for. It’s for getting at the truth when the truth isn’t sufficient for the truth.” – Tim O’Brien

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
–Louis L’Amour

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
-Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison Writing Quote

“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”
― Terry Pratchett

“Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.”
–Jane Yolen

“I start with a question. Then try to answer it.”
–Mary Lee Settle

“I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.”
–Robert Louis Stevenson

“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.”
—Larry L. King

“You can fix anything but a blank page.”
–Nora Roberts

“If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.”
–Edgar Rice Burroughs

“Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time they discover that routine is a better friend than inspiration.”
–Ralph Keyes

“Good writing is rewriting.”
–Truman Capote

“When asked, ‘How do you write?’ I invariably answer, ‘one word at a time.'”
-Stephen King
Stephen King Writing Quote

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
― Madeleine L’Engle

“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”
–Neil Gaiman

“One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.”
—Lawrence Block

“It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.”
–C. J. Cherryh

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
–Anaïs Nin

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

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”
― Aldous Huxley

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
― W. Somerset Maugham

“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.”
― Beatrix Potter

“Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.”
—Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury Writing Quote

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
–Anton Chekhov

“Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got.”
― Philip José Farmer

“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”
—Harper Lee

“I hate writing, I love having written.”
― Dorothy Parker

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
-E.L. Doctorow

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”
―Octavia E. Butler

“Ideas aren’t magical; the only tricky part is holding on to one long enough to get it written down.”
― Lynn Abbey

“Writing is not like painting where you add. It is not what you put on the canvas that the reader sees. Writing is more like sculpture where you remove, you eliminate in order to make the work visible. Even those pages you remove somehow remain.”
-Elie Wiesel

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”
–Stephen King

“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”
― Agatha Christie

“Indeed, learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.”
― Eudora Welt

“If you show someone something you’ve written, you give them a sharpened stake, lie down in your coffin, and say, ‘When you’re ready’.”
― David Mitchell

“A word after a word after a word is power.”
― Margaret Atwood

“A good book isn’t written, it’s rewritten.”
― Phyllis A. Whitney

“Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.”
― Khaled Hosseini

“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”
― Jodi Picoult

“Read deeply. Stay open. Continue to wonder.”
― Austin Kleon

“Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.”
― Gloria Steinem

“I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.”
-Isaac Asimov

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
-Richard Bach
Richard Bach Writing Quote

“First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.”
― Octavia Butler,

“Nothing’s a better cure for writer’s block than to eat ice cream right out of the carton.”
― Don Roff

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
― Sylvia Plath

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”
― Samuel Johnson

“Yes, the story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it.”
-Jules Renard

“Don’t get it right – get it WRITTEN!”
― Lee Child

Still need some inspiration? Check out this article on how to get out of a writing rut and these inspirational books for writers. Unstick your story with these tools for destroying writer’s block.

Check out these photos of famous authors at their writing desks to help you get in the writing mood.

10 Writing Activities for Kids & Aspiring Authors

10 Writing Activities for Kids & Aspiring Authors

10 Writing Activities for Kids & Aspiring Authors
Many children aspire to be writers or have an interest in reading. Parents and teachers can help focus this creativity into fun writing projects with the activities on this page. These writing activities for kids and young writers help inspire creativity while teaching them how to explore things like character, setting, and dialogue. The activities can be given as school assignments or just as a fun exercise to do in a writing journal on their own time.

10 Best Writing Activities for Kids

1. Dream Story

Have the kids remember a dream they’ve had recently and use that as a starting point for their story. They can write their dream exactly as they remember it or elaborate on it and take it in a crazy direction. This activity is an easy way to teach children that there’s no limit to their imagination and introduce them to magical realism.

The Bucket Rider by Franz Kafka is a very short magical realism story in the vein of a dream story that you can share with your young aspiring writer.

2. Write a Collaborative Story

This activity is the Exquisite Corpse of writing activities, perfect for a classroom activity or for siblings and friends to do at home. Generally, it works better with groups of four or more writers. Take a piece of paper and have the first child write a beginning to the story. After three or four sentences, fold the paper so only the last line is visible and pass it to the next child. Each child adds three to four sentences and the last one finished the story. Pick someone to read the story out loud so everyone can enjoy the results. Usually, they’re quite funny. This activity is perfect to teach about collaboration.

3. A Name Poem

This is a good writing activity for younger kids, including preschool, kindergarteners and first graders that are learning to write their letters and spell. This type of poem is known as an acrostic poem, as the first letter of each line spells a name. Have the child write their name down the left side of a page. Then have them take each letter and pick a word that describes them. They can do this with friends and family names as well.

An example:


4. Daily Journal

If you want to teach your kids how to build a daily writing habit, a daily journal is a perfect activity. Get them a notebook or journal and set aside time each day for them to do their writing. They can write about what they did that day or write stories or free write. Whatever they want to write is up to them, just encourage the regular habit which will serve them well as an adult writer.

5. Rewrite a Fairy Tale

When your aspiring author is interested in writing traditional stories with a beginning, middle, or end, this activity will help teach them about story structure. Have them pick their favorite fairy tale and write their own version of it. They can get as creative as they want. The Three Little Pigs can become the Three Wise Owls. Have them reimagine the whole tale based on their changes and then write it down.

When they’ve mastered a retelling, have them try writing a fairy tale of their own.

6. Make Your Own Ending

After watching a movie or reading a book that your child doesn’t like, suggest they write their own ending. They can choose what point in the story they want to change and write from there until it’s done. When they’re done, ask them why they disliked the original ending and why they like this ending better. This exercise will help them think critically about endings and the way they make readers feel.

10 Writing Activities for Kids & Aspiring Authors

7. Picture Prompt

Find pictures online or in magazines. Let the kids look through the photos and find one they like the most. Have them write a story based on the people or places in the photos. You can make this activity more interesting by having them pick a variety of photos of places and people to blend together in one story.

8. Write a How To

This is an exercise that is good to teach children how to visualize actions and explain them in their writing. Have them pick an activity they like to do and know how to do without help. Examples could be picking up their room, building a house with blocks, or drawing a picture. Have them write how to do that thing, step by step. When they finish, have them read the steps to you as you try to do the activity. This will teach them how important it is to get details on the page so the reader understands what they’re thinking.

9. Mad Libs

It may not seem like a writing exercise, but Mad Libs are an excellent way to teach children about sentence composition and different types of words. Use some free printables to help teach them about nouns, adverbs, and adjectives. Plus, they’re a ton of fun.

10. Write a Book

If your child enjoys drawing as well, this activity can let them explore their creativity in both arenas. Take five or more sheets of paper and fold them in half so they form a book. Use a stapler to secure them in the middle. Have them write a story and draw pictures to go along with it. When they’re done, they’ll have their own picture book with their name on the cover.

Looking for more ways to inspire the young writer in your life? Check out these creative gifts for aspiring writers.

8 Inspiring Books for Writers

5 Inspirational Book Gifts for Writers
Writing is hard, especially for new writers who are struggling to break into the business or sell a novel. All the rejection can be demotivating and leave many wondering why they even started writing in the first place. One of the best gifts you can give a writer is the gift of encouragement and inspiration. We’ve rounded up our favorite books to help inspire, motivate, and encourage the writer in your life. These books are not only practical but will show you care about them and their writing.

1. Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury is one of the most beloved and prolific writers of the past century. He always gave the advice that writing should be an act of love, pulling inspiration from the things you enjoy to create stories that you love writing. This classic book of essays expands on that theme, helping aspiring writers find joy in developing their craft.

This book also features insights into Ray Bradbury’s writing process, with specific essays on how he wrote his classic novels Fahrenheit 451, Dandelion Wine, and The Martian Chronicles. This collection is a must have for any Ray Bradbury fans and a great gift for younger writers and aspiring sci-fi and fantasy writers.

2. Never Say You Can’t Survive by Charlie Jane Anders

When life and the larger world are chaotic, it can be hard to muster creative energy. Charlie Jane Anders collects much of her wisdom as a writer in this book that is part memoir and part creative guide. With a focus on using your voice to find power while powerless, Anders’ words will provide inspiration to aspiring and established authors alike.

3. The Writer’s Block: 786 Ideas to Jump-Start Your Imagination

The Writer's Block

The sky is blue, grass is green, and writers get writer’s block. What else is new? Every author has experienced this at one point or another (or many points) in their career, and this little block-shaped book is for just those occasions! It features hundreds of prompts that writers can flip to, to jump-start their next story idea, or get them out of a rut. As the publisher notes, “Many of these assignments come straight from the creative writing classes of celebrated novelists like Ethan Canin, Richard Price, Toni Morrison, and Kurt Vonnegut: Joyce Carol Oates explains how she uses running to destroy writer’s block.”

Check out more gifts to destroy writer’s block.

4. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Stephen King is undeniably both one of the most successful authors of all time, and also one of the most prolific, having penned over 50 full length novels. Luckily, he doesn’t keep his keys to success a secret.

In this memoir, King reflects on how he’s managed to achieve the level of success that he has and shares insight that will inspire any author to put pen to paper and write their very best. He also shares practical advice and lessons he’s learned along the way. In addition to the memoir sections of the book, King also breaks down in-depth his writing and editing processes (including a chapter on his disdain for adverbs). He also recalls his experience getting hit by a car and how it affected him personally and as a writer. This is a must-read for any aspiring writer!

5. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers

This book, written by ten different writers together, contains 101 motivational stories from writers, for writers. Each anecdote or true story is short (just a few pages) and can be read in a flash, when the writer in your life needs a pick-me-up.

The advice it contains is meant for writers of all kinds and all different experience levels of writing because nearly all writers experience moments of doubt. The different sections of this book focus on specific struggles that are common for writers, like finding time to write or wrestling with writer’s block. This is a great gift to inspire writers who are early in their career and dealing with rejection from editors and publishers.

6. Quotes to Write By: Daily Inspiration and Guidance for Writers

Quotes to Write By provides a different quote for each day of the year. According to the publisher’s description, it is “The perfect gift for every writer! [It] will help get your creative juices flowing. Be guided and inspired by fellow writers and celebrities from around the globe. Open to today’s date for an inspirational or guiding quote to help get your writing back on schedule. Quotes to Write By is a helpful resource of encouragement for every writer.”

This is the perfect gift for a writer who already owns all of the usual writing inspiration and advice books.

7. Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad

The latest book from Austin Kleon is the perfect inspiration for authors struggling with their work. Whether it’s writer’s block our outside forces that are sabotaging their productivity, Kleon’s tips are filled with advice to help writers and artists disconnect from the world and reconnect with their creative side.

Timeless, this practical guide is perfect for creators of every type.

8. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

This classic book from writer Anne Lamott is titled after some advice her father once gave her brother when he was paralized by fear at writing a paper about birds. Bird by Bird is not a craft book, instead it focuses on fostering a creative mindset, being introspective, and dealing with common challenges.

The book does include a few writing exercises appropriate for authors of any experience level. Highly recommended for beginner writers still figuring out their process.

Looking for more practical gifts to inspire the writers and authors in your life? Check out essential reference books for writers and the best books on writing fiction for more gift ideas.