Popular Quotes and Sayings about Writing

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. ~Douglas Adams

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. ~Mark Twain

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. ~Unknown

All power corrupts, but we need the electricity. ~Unknown

Success is following the pattern of life one enjoys most. ~Al Capp

Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

The highest use of capital is not to make more money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life. ~Henry Ford

If a writer wrote merely for his time, I would have to break my pen and throw it away. ~Victor Hugo

Necessity never made a good bargain. ~Benjamin Franklin

To the generous mind the heaviest debt is that of gratitude, when it is not in our power to repay it. ~Benjamin Franklin

Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none. ~Benjamin Franklin

Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man. ~Sir Francis Bacon

The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn. ~Alvin Toffler

You can use all the quantitative data you can get, but you still have to distrust it and use your own intelligence and judgment. ~Alvin Toffler

Genius is present in every age, but the men carrying it within them remain benumbed unless extraordinary events occur to heat up and melt the mass so that it flows forth. ~Denis Diderot

There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge. . . observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination. ~Denis Diderot

Our observation of nature must be diligent, our reflection profound, and our experiments exact. We rarely see these three means combined; and for this reason, creative geniuses are not common. ~Denis Diderot

Science may have found a cure for most evils, but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all--the apathy of human beings. ~Helen Keller

Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens. ~Epictetus

Procrastination is the thief of time. ~Edward Young

It is impossible to design a system so perfect that no one needs to be good. ~T. S. Eliot

The will to do, the soul to dare. ~Sir Walter Scott

Delay always breeds danger and to protract a great design is often to ruin it. ~Miguel de Cervantes

There is only one way to defeat the enemy, and that is to write as well as one can. The best argument is an undeniably good book. ~Saul Bellow

Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow. ~Norman Vincent Peale

If you disclose your alms, even then it is well done, but if you keep them secret, and give them to the poor, then that is better still for you; and this wipes off from you some of your evil deeds. ~an<

A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. If these minds love one another the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden. But if these minds get out of harmony with one another it is like a storm that plays havoc with the garden. ~Buddha

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. ~Buddha

I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity an obligation; every possession a duty. ~n D. Rockefeller Jr.<

Firmness of purpose is one of the most necessary sinews of character, and one of the best instruments of success. Without it genius wastes its efforts in a maze of inconsistencies. ~lip Dormer Chesterfield<

We are rich only through what we give, and poor only through what we refuse. ~e Swetchine<

We can have no "50-50" allegiance in this country. Either a man is an American and nothing else, or he is not an American at all. ~dy Roosevelt<

What one has not experienced one will never understand in print. ~dora Duncan<

If there be any truer measure of a man than by what he does, it must be by what he gives. ~ert South<

The supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things--the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit, and to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit. ~nson<

Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think. ~hur Shopenhauer<

Religion is a candle inside a multicolored lantern. Everyone looks through a particular color, but the candle is always there. ~ammed Neguib<

Not to be cheered by praise, Not to be grieved by blame, But to know thoroughly ones own virtues or powers Are the characteristics of an excellent man. ~Saskya Pandita

The courage to imagine the otherwise is our greatest resource, adding color and suspense to all our life. ~iel Boorstin<

The best helping hand that you will ever receive is the one at the end of your own arm. ~d Dehner<

Liberty is the possibility of doubting, the possibility of making a mistake, the possibility of searching and experimenting, the possibility of saying No to any authority--literary, artistic, philosophic, religious, social and even political. ~azio Silone<

The mind has a thousand eyes. And the heart but one; Yet the life of a whole life dies When love is done. ~ncis William Bourdillon<

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. ~man Cain<

Our deeds follow us, and what we have been makes us what we are. ~n Dykes<

Prejudice is the child of ignorance. ~litt<

The future is not something we enter. The future is something we create. ~nard I. Sweet<

No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it. ~Andrew Carnegie

Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which there divines the spirit of which Nature herself is animated. ~uste Rodin<

The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation. ~uste Rodin<

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely. ~uste Rodin<

Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it. ~Jesse Stuart

The only use of a knowledge of the past is to equip us for the present. The present contains all that there is. It is holy ground; for it is the past, and it is the future. ~Alfred North Whitehead

We seldom attribute common sense except to those who agree with us. ~Rochefoucauld<

Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions. ~old Geneen<

The end of wisdom is to dream high enough to lose the dream in the seeking of it. ~William Faulkner

Hope, like faith, is nothing if it is not courageous; it is nothing if it is not ridiculous. ~Thornton Wilder

The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answers. ~James Baldwin

Our worst enemies here are not the ignorant and simple, however cruel; our worst enemies are the intelligent and corrupt. ~Graham Greene

Between saying and doing many a pair of shoes is worn out. ~Italian Proverb

Vigorous writing is concise. ~William Strunk Jr.

Be neither too remote nor too familiar. ~Prince Charles

Like dogs in a wheel, birds in a cage, or squirrels in a chain, ambitious men still climb and climb, with great labor, and incessant anxiety, but never reach the top. ~Robert Burton

In the frank expression of conflicting opinions lies the greatest promise of wisdom in governmental action. ~Louis D. Brandeis

Thus, in a real sense, I am constantly writing autobiography, but I have to turn it into fiction in order to give it credibility. ~Katherine Paterson

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort. ~John Ruskin

Say all you have to say in the fewest possible words, or your reader will be sure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words or he will certainly misunderstand them. ~John Ruskin

We know what a person thinks not when he tells us what he thinks, but by his actions. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

What nature delivers to us is never stale. Because what nature creates has eternity in it. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

The very essence of literature is the war between emotion and intellect, between life and death. When literature becomes too intellectual -- when it begins to ignore the passions, the motions -- it becomes sterile, silly, and actually without substance. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

When you betray somebody else, you also betray yourself. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Doubt is part of all religion. All the religious thinkers were doubters. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven. ~Henry Ward Beecher

The weather-cock on the church spire, though made of iron, would soon be broken by the storm-wind if it... did not understand the noble art of turning to every wind. ~Heinrich Heine

He only profits from praise who values criticism. ~Heinrich Heine

The most decisive actions of our life -- I mean those that are most likely to decide the whole course of our future -- are, more often than not, unconsidered. ~Andre Gide

Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth. ~Walt Whitman

The dread of evil is a much more forcible principle of human actions than the prospect of good. ~John Locke

While we are postponing, life speeds by. ~Seneca

Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones. ~Seneca

I just need enough to tide me over until I need more. ~Bill Hoest

There it was, hidden in alphabetical order. ~Rita Holt

Only fools are positive. ~Moe Howard

The mind cannot long act the role of the heart. ~Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Adaptability is not imitation. It means power of resistance and assimilation. ~Mahatma Gandhi

It is the quality of our work which will please God and not the quantity. ~Mahatma Gandhi

An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations. ~Charles de Montesquieu

Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment. ~R. Buckminster Fuller

If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. ~Thomas Jefferson

My views and feelings (are) in favor of the abolition of war--and I hope it is practicable, by improving the mind and morals of society, to lessen the disposition to war; but of its abolition I despair. ~Thomas Jefferson

The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been. ~Henry Kissinger

For it is mutual trust, even more than mutual interest that holds human associations together. Our friends seldom profit us but they make us feel safe... Marriage is a scheme to accomplish exactly that same end. ~H. L. Mencken

There are three ingredients in the good life: learning, earning, and yearning. ~Christopher Morley

Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book. ~Ronald Reagan

Freedom of opinion can only exist when the government thinks itself secure. ~Bertrand Russell

The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it. ~George Bernard Shaw

It is easier to be critical than correct. ~Benjamin Disraeli

It may well be doubted whether human ingenuity can construct an enigma... which human ingenuity may not, by proper application, resolve. ~Edgar Allan Poe

What people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can. ~Henry David Thoreau

I was born not knowing and have only had a little time to change that here and there. ~Richard Feynman

It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust. ~Samuel Johnson

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards. ~Robert Heinlein

All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things. ~Bobby Knight

By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote. In fact, it is as difficult to appropriate the thoughts of others as it is to invent. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Make yourself necessary to somebody. Do not make life hard to any. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. ~William Shakespeare

When you are in any contest you should work as if there were - to the very last minute - a chance to lose it. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower