Twelve Wise and Inspiring Quotes About Writing

11 Dec 2017 | Motivation

December is always a big month for me: I love celebrating Christmas and the New Year, of course, but it’s also when my birthday falls (on December 12th).

For me, this time of year always involves some reflection on how the past eleven and a bit months have gone … and some thoughts about what I want to accomplish in the year ahead.

All year, I’ve been sharing some of my favourite quotes about writing on Twitter … and I wanted to repost some of the best here, in the hopes that you’ll find them encouraging and motivating too:

#1: “Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.”
– Ann Patchett

#2: “Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else.”
– C. S. Lewis

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

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

#5: “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.”
– Mary Heaton Vorse

#6: “Take the time to write. You can do your life’s work in half an hour a day.”
– Robert Hass

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

#8: “I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”
– Elmore Leonard

#9: “I love my rejection slips, they show me I try.”
– Sylvia Plath

#10: “All good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.”
– Anne Lamott

#11: “The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.”
– Stephen King

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

If a particular quote appeals to you, why not write it out and keep it on your desk or in your writing notebook? (And if you have a different favourite quote, do share it with us in the comments!)


I’m Ali Luke, and I live in Leeds in the UK with my husband and two children.

Aliventures is where I help you master the art, craft and business of writing.

My Novels

My contemporary fantasy trilogy is available from Amazon. The books follow on from one another, so read Lycopolis first.

You can buy them all from Amazon, or read them FREE in Kindle Unlimited.


  1. Siva

    Good Quotes collection. Liked everyone.

    “If writing is your motive, write about Motivation. The world needs it” – Sivaprakash Sidhu.

    I have written this quote while reading yours. Hope you liked it.
    Siva’s last blog post ..Secrets You Never Knew About Helping Others

    • Ali

      Thanks Siva! And thank you for sharing your own quote. 🙂

  2. claire

    I love every single one of your quotes Ali, thank you! I will print them all out 🙂

    The first writing quote I ever put above my desk is by Seth Godin:

    “Here’s the thing: the book that will most change your life is the book you write.”

    Happy belated Birth Day!

    • Ali

      Thanks Claire! That’s a fantastic quote from Seth Godin — love it. 🙂

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