Let other authors encourage you in their own words.
Here at The Book Professor®, we not only have a passion for writing, we have a passion for writing quotes!
Every aspiring author has moments of doubt and frustration, moments when the finish line seems far away and the book’s purpose murky. At these times, inspirational writing quotes from other authors can clear the fog of discouragement and get you writing again.
We’ve rounded up a list of quotes about writing your own story, quotes about the writing process, and quotes about the passion for writing, to inspire you and help you keep the faith in your project.
Inspirational Writing Quotes for Aspiring Authors
1. “Every writer I know seems to agree on the same thing: You need to write, a lot.”
Thanks to Goodreads for sharing this. The Goodreads Pinterest feed is a constant source of inspiration and a great go-to in moments of discouragement.
2. “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” -Ben Franklin
This quote from Benjamin Franklin is particularly powerful for new initiated writers. It has been the seed of inspiration for many powerful memoirs.
3. “Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish…” -John Steinbeck
It’s important to organize your book with a BookMAP and to stay focused on your plan, but this quote from John Steinbeck also reminds us of the mystery inherent in the writing process. We write one sentence at a time and don’t always see the ways in which the book is coming together until it’s already happened. Likewise, there’s always “more” you could do to your book, but you’ll have to stop somewhere when you sense that the book has covered its topic well and provided its audience with closure.
4. “Writing is an extreme privilege, but it’s also a gift…” -Amy Tan
The world sometimes feels like one big overwhelming mess. It is through the power of everyday people that change happens—those who share their wisdom and knowledge with one another through memoirs, nonfiction books, stories of triumph and guides filled with wisdom. Sharing your gift is a truly a duty.
5. “One must be careful with books, and what is inside of them, for words have the power to change us.” -Cassandra Clare
This quote is from Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel.
What is your story to share? How will you change the world? You don’t have to be a professional writer with ten books published to write something that will change a life.
6. “Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.” -Stephen King
Here at The Book Professor®, we talk a lot about getting your message to readers. Identifying how your book will help others is the first step in the process. Even legendary author Stephen King agrees that the main goal of writing should be to enrich someone else.
7. “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.” -Anne Lamott
This is a comforting thought for new and seasoned writers alike. No one enjoys writing a bad first draft, but every author must pass through that stage with every manuscript.
8. “Don’t be ‘a writer’ but instead be writing. Being ‘a writer’ means being stagnant. The act of writing shows movement, activity, life.” -William Faulkner
Or, put another way, “Put your money where your mouth is.” Anyone can dream about, think about, and talk about becoming a writer. Only a dedicated few will actually sit down and do it. In this way, every aspiring author is on equal footing with the great authors of literary history. You don’t need credentials, you don’t need a following. All you need is the discipline to sit down and write
9. “If you find a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Toni Morrison
Many of The Book Professor’s authors end up writing the book they wish they’d had during a tough time in life. Whether it’s navigating loss or tragedy, dealing with illness, escaping a hated job or something else, your struggles have taught you things that other people need to hear.
10. “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” -Joan Didion
While you are working on your book, your book is working on you. If you write about your own personal journey or area of expertise, be prepared to gain new insight into yourself and your life as you write it down. In this way, sharing your story is not just a gift to others, but also to yourself.
11. “A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” -Madeline L’Engle
Those who are drawn to writing know this instinctively. Books deliver insight and take us to other worlds. They help us express ourselves in a unique way.
12. “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” -Robert Frost
We can’t stress enough the importance of being authentic and vulnerable with readers in your manuscript. You don’t have to air every piece of dirty laundry in your life, but you do need to show readers your struggles so they can relate to your experience. If you don’t put your emotions into the writing, you can’t inspire your audience, either.
13. “In your reading, find books to improve your color sense, your sense of shape and size in the world.” -Ray Bradbury
Descriptive details go a long way in helping readers immerse themselves in your book. You want that immersion, because immersed readers keep turning pages. They also recommend the book to friends when they’re finished.
14. “When I used to teach creative writing, I would tell the students to make their characters want something right away—even if it’s only a glass of water. Characters paralyzed by the meaningless of modern life still have to drink water from time to time.” -Kurt Vonnegut
Every good story needs a hero who wants something. Memoirists tell stories from a time in life when they wanted to overcome a challenge or make a change. “Self-help” and “how-to” books must know what the audience wants and show them how to achieve it, ideally by telling the story of how the author herself achieved it.
15. Possibly, then, writing has to do with darkness, and a desire or perhaps a compulsion to enter it, and, with luck, to illuminate it, and to bring something back out to the light.” -Margaret Atwood
Books explore some of the saddest, scariest, and darkest moments of the human condition. We all want to find answers and solutions for the difficulties in our lives. While an author can’t answer every question, they can come alongside readers and help them move forward. At the very least, an author can be like a good friend who sits with you in your pain, reassuring you that you’re not alone.
16. “If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.” -Isaac Asimov
Memoirs written by those who have a terminal illness can be powerful. They give us a glimpse into experiencing the final act of life, and suggest perspective on our own mortality.
17. “I write to discover what I know.” -Flannery O’Connor
A funny thing happens when you start writing down your story: you see how far you’ve come. You realize how much knowledge you’ve accumulated. You remember what the events of your life have taught you, and how much you didn’t know before. It’s a great recipe for self-confidence.
18. “To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.” -Herman Melville
Melville certainly knows a about mighty themes (Moby Dick, anyone?). As an aspiring author, you should consider the theme of your book before you start writing it.
19. “No one is going to write your book for you and you can’t write anybody’s book but your own.” -Cheryl Strayed
Strayed’s quote is a gentle reminder to get moving on the book you know is inside of you. No one else can write it. If you keep thinking but don’t actually write, then that book still won’t be here in five years, or ten, or twenty. How long will you wait?
20. “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” -Richard Bach
Starting a manuscript, especially as a brand-new author, can feel daunting. You may worry that you don’t know enough about writing, can’t tell your story well enough, or haven’t had enough practice.
Guess what? Every writer quoted in this list was once in your shoes.
That’s where The Book Professor ® comes in. Our professional writing coaches and editors help you get your story down on paper, even if you’re a complete newbie to writing. In about a year, you can go from concept to finished product.
Imagine yourself holding your book a year from now. Contact The Book Professor ® today and make that dream a reality.