57 Quotes About Writing for Every Stage in the Process

Posted on Jun 15, 2023

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Written by Bella Rose Pope

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There is no doubt that you’ll struggle in the process of writing a book, which is why you’ll want some quotes about writing to keep you company. After all, they’re the blanket that’ll suffocate the flames of self-doubt. Safety first!

But truthfully, self-doubt in writing is the reason for so many great books going unpublished, we’re all about this form of suffocation.

Even if you’re not a “quotes person,” you’ll find some of these helpful. Famous quotes about writing are repeated for a reason. People relate to them!

The next time you’re struggling, no matter which stage of the process you’re in, read these quotes about writing.

Writing Quotes for When You Can’t Seem to Get Started

Some writers have all the ideas they could ever need. They have the skill to write and characters to gush about. What they don’t have, what will keep them from their dream of publishing a book, is the ability to start.

While completely normal, it’s still something you want to move past. If it’s debilitating but the only thing in your way, these quotes about writing might help you finally start writing a book.

  1. “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
  2. “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” – Stephen King
  3. “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” – Plato
  4. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
  5. “The best time to start writing was yesterday. The second best time is now.” – Unknown
  6. “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” – Louis L’Amour
  7. “Every writer has to start somewhere, and it’s usually at the beginning.” – Terry Pratchett
  8. “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” – Terry Pratchett
  9. “The most important thing is to begin. Once you start, you can always correct, revise, and improve later.” – Jodi Picoult

Writing Quotes About Imagination to Motivate You

Not every day will be one where your imagination is flowing and you can’t stop it. Those days are actually more rare. Most days, your imagination will be something you need to tap into after a warm up, like before you lift heavy weights. And even then, “performance” can vary.

That said, if you’re in need of a warm up with hopes of having a good imagination day, check out these quotes about writing to spark some.

  1. “Imagination is the golden-eyed monster that never sleeps. It must be fed; it cannot be ignored.” – Patricia A. McKillip
  2. “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.” – George Bernard Shaw
  3. “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” – Albert Einstein
  4. “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” – Albert Einstein
  5. “Imagination is the power of the mind to create what is not yet there, to see beyond physical reality, and to bring forth something new.” – Unknown
  6. “Imagination is the spark that ignites creativity and allows dreams to take flight.” – Unknown
  7. “Imagination is the magic carpet ride that takes us to unexplored worlds and lets us explore the depths of our own souls.” – Unknown
  8. “Imagination is the voice of the soul, whispering the possibilities and urging us to dream.” – Unknown
  9. “Imagination is the key that unlocks the door to infinite possibilities and endless discoveries.” – Unknown
  10. “Imagination is the bridge between the present and the future, allowing us to envision and create the world we desire.” – Unknown

Inspirational Writing Quotes for When You’re Lacking Some of Your Own

Contrary to most writer’s beliefs, inspiration is not just something that strikes. It doesn’t come from nowhere. Creatives have the responsibility to seek it out and create the conditions for inspiration to come around.

If you’re struggling with where to start or need more convincing, here are some quotes about writing inspiration to help you.

  1. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London
  2. “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” – Pablo Picasso
  3. “The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.” – Anaïs Nin
  4. “Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.” – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  5. “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” – Stephen King
  6. “Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” – E.L. Doctorow
  7. “The idea is always there, locked inside, and writing is simply the key that sets it free.” – Unknown
  8. “The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” – Gustave Flaubert
  9. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker
  10. “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach
  11. “Don’t stop. Writers write. That’s why they are called writers. Someday you’ll publish.” – my dad, Joe Pope, 2015.
Inspirational Writing Quote

Writing Quotes About Characters to Shape Your Story

If you’re still in the outlining phase or character development stage of your book, you might want to take a look at these quotes about writing when it comes to characters. While it can seem like we’re not in charge of them, we are.

Remembering these quotes are one way to get them to cooperate!

  1. “Characters make the story. Without them, there is no story to tell.” – Unknown
  2. “A well-developed character takes on a life of their own and guides the story.” – J.K. Rowling
  3. “Good characters are not just written; they are discovered.” – Elizabeth George
  4. “Characters, not plots, are the soul of good writing.” – Stephen King
  5. “A character is not just what they do, but who they are beneath their actions.” – Unknown
  6. “The best characters are flawed, complex, and relatable; they mirror the beauty and imperfections of real people.” – Unknown
  7. “A character becomes alive on the page when they have depth, desires, and conflicts.” – Unknown
  8. “Characters should speak to the reader’s heart, provoking empathy, connection, and understanding.” – Unknown
  9. “Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.” – Kurt Vonnegut
  10. “Great characters are born out of a writer’s observation, imagination, and understanding of human nature.” – Unknown

Plotting Writing Quotes to Help You Along the Way

When it comes down to it, the plot is what your book will be known for (and sure, the characters too). But the story itself is what hooks the readers so they learn more about the character in the first place.

When times get tough or if you need a pick-me-up to keep pushing forward, here are some quotes about writing specific to the plotting process.

  1. “The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.” – Joyce Carol Oates
  2. “Stories are made up of people, and people are driven by desires and conflicts.” – Salman Rushdie
  3. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou
  4. “A good plot is like a dream. It is the essence of the story.” – John Steinbeck
  5. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs
  6. “Good stories surprise us. They make us think and feel. They stick with us long after we’ve put the book down.” – Neil Gaiman
  7. “Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally, there’s an explosion.” – Dashiell Hammett
  8. “Plot is what happens in the story and the order in which it happens.” – E. M. Forster
  9. “The plot is the story’s skeleton, the guiding force that shapes and propels everything else.” – Dan Brown
  10. “Plotting is a game of foresight. It is a chess game in which the characters should be moved carefully, anticipating the reader’s counter-moves.” – Agatha Christie
  11. “Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally, there’s an explosion.” – Dashiell Hammett
  12. “A plot is not a sequence of random events but a carefully crafted arrangement that leads to a meaningful resolution.” – John Green
  13. “The best plots are the ones that keep the reader guessing, constantly questioning what will happen next.” – Gillian Flynn

Writing Quote About Receiving Criticism for the Feedback Stage

Beta readers, editors, and reviews—oh my!

Not all criticism is constructive. Some of it isn’t even helpful and is more of a reflection of the person giving it than the person receiving it. But it is still one of the more important parts of any creative process.

This is how you learn what your art (writing) looks like from an outside perspective, how it’s interpreted.

These quotes about writing may not fully be about writing itself, but about how to deal with receiving feedback on it.

  1. “Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” – Frank A. Clark
  2. “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” – Winston Churchill
  3. “The only way to avoid criticism is to do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” – Aristotle
  4. “Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Aristotles
  5. “The greatest artists, thinkers, and innovators welcomed constructive criticism as a means to refine their craft and ideas.” – Unknown

While helpful, quotes about writing aren’t a replacement for actually writing. The best way to increase your experience and confidence in your skillset, which will carry you through most difficult times, is to just get back to writing.

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