No matter if you’re a best-selling novelist, a business writer, or a content marketer, the art and craft of writing is a unique experience for all wordsmiths. Whether you struggle to find the right words, have to overcome writer’s block, or are lucky enough to be able to bask in the sheer pleasure of producing something great, writing will take you through a roller coaster ride of emotions.
Many famous writers have captured those emotions, some of which we’ve noted below to help inspire and motivate you with your important work.
On why we write
“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald.
“It’s the most satisfying occupation man has discovered yet, because you never can quite do it as well as you want to, so there’s always something to wake up tomorrow morning to do.” – William Faulkner
On how to write
“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” – Neil Gaiman
“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” – Mark Twain
“You can’t wait for inspiration; you have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London
“Instead of following the guidelines without regard for whether they’re making our writing effective or not, we often need to question the guidelines. To write with style, we need at times to break the guidelines.” – Donna Gorrell
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” – Stephen King
“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” – John Steinbeck
“The secret of it all is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood of the moment — to put things down without deliberation — without worrying about their style — without waiting for a fit time or place. I always worked that way. I took the first scrap of paper, the first doorstep, the first desk, and wrote — wrote, wrote… By writing at the instant, the very heartbeat of life is caught.” – Walt Whitman
On the struggles of writing
“Writing is hard for every last one of us… Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.” – Cheryl Strayed
“If I waited for perfection… I would never write a word.” – Margaret Atwood
“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” – Stephen King
“By using stale metaphors, similes, and idioms, you save much mental effort, at the cost of leaving your meaning vague, not only for your reader but for yourself.” – George Orwell
On the pleasures of writing
“For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.” —Catherine Drinker Bowen
“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” – Gloria Steinem.
“Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.” – Neil Gaiman
“You can make anything by writing.” – CS Lewis
“I write because I love writing. I think I became a writer in order to explore my ideas and responses to the world around me, which I often found it difficult to share with others. Also I liked my autonomy, and a writer can choose his or her own working hours – midnight to dawn or whenever. The difficulty of becoming a writer never bothered me. I knew it was going to work for me sooner or later. And if you’re a writer you don’t have to retire but can keep on doing the thing you love till you drop off the chair.” – Alex Miller
Sometimes writing can be frustrating. And occasionally it’s overwhelming. But most of the time, as these well-known writers know, it can be utterly fulfilling and rewarding. Writing for a living and seeing the impact of your content is important and worthwhile work.