Authors On Writing

Thoughts on writing from authors I thought you would enjoy.

Set your sights high, the higher the better. Expect the most wonderful things to happen, not in the future but right now. Realize that nothing is too good. Allow absolutely nothing to hamper you or hold you up in any way. ~ Eileen Caddy

If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place. ~ Nora Roberts

Keep a diary and one day it’ll keep you. ~Mae West

A person who publishes a book willfully appears before the populace with his pants down. ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

When things don’t go your way – change your way. ~ Me

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes. ~Agatha Christie

I think it’s bad to talk about one’s present work, for it spoils something at the root of the creative act. It discharges the tension. ~Norman Mailer

If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten,  either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.   – Benjamin Franklin

Some of us aren’t meant to belong. Some of us have to turn the world upside down and shake the hell out of it until we make our own place in it. ~ Elizabeth Lowell

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. ~James Michener

Women with clean houses do not have finished books. ~ Joy Held

All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

People do not deserve to have good writing, as they are so pleased with bad. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.  ~ Robert Benchley

I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter. ~ James Michener

When you get to the point everyone else would quit –keep going. ~ Unknown.

Tell the readers a story. Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences.  – Anne McCaffrey

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.- Anads Nin

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

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. ~ Mark Twain

All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary—it’s just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences. ~ Somerset Maugham

Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader -not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon. ~ E. L. Doctorow

Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money.~ Moliere

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard

When asked, “How do you write?” I invariably answer, “one word at a time.” ~ Stephen King

If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write. ~ Stephen King

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.~ Ernest Hemingway

It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way. ~ Ernest Hemingway

Rejection is not Fatal ~ Author Unknown

Now go and write.

Forget the guilt, -“Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.”Erma Bombeck

Forget the housework. -“Housework, if it is done properly, can cause brain damage.” Erma Bombeck

Don’t worry about your family.-“No one ever died from sleeping in an unmade bed.” Erma Bombeck

Enjoy the moment.- “Just think of all those women on the Titanic who said, ‘No thank you’ to desert that night. And for what?!” Erma Bombeck


Please share your favorite quote.


Rita writes sexy stories about Military Heroines. Extraordinary women and the men they love. 

36 responses to “Authors On Writing”

  1. Gwyn says:

    My favorite writing quote is hanging by my desk. It reads: Lots of people hear voices. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Some of them are called writers, and mostly they do the same thing. — Margaret Chittenden.

    PS Thanks for the Erma Bombeck quotes. Great lady.


  2. Love these! I’m going to have to print these out and wallpaper my writing area with them. 🙂

    Not sure if you had it above, but I recently saw one that made me smile:

    “I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.” — Stephen Wright


  3. Addison Fox says:

    Rita – these are wonderful!!! And I, too, loved the Erma Bombeck quotes. She was one great lady!



    • Elisa Beatty says:

      I always thought she was funny when I was young, but just in a “cute” way.

      Now that I’m older, and trying to juggle work and house and kids, I realize she was really a subversive kind of feminist: letting us know there was nothing wrong with rejecting the “perfect housewife” ideal and allowing ourselves to be human beings.


    • Rita Henuber says:

      Erma put things into perspective with her wit. I also feel she was way ahead of her time. I find it sad many don’t know who she is.


  4. Thanks, Rita. Feeling much better now about skipping the housework.


  5. Tamara Hogan says:

    One of my favorite writing quotes is from a talk MaryJanice Davidson gave at my RWA land chapter. About first drafts: “Sh*tty is the name of the game. Get it down, then revise, revise, revise.” I wrote this on a Post-It and slapped it on a bookshelf overlooking my desk.

    Erma and I are definitely on the same page about housekeeping. 😉


  6. jbrayweber says:

    Love these, Rita.

    I love Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King and Erma Bombeck’s take. But I also like Mae West’s “Keep a diary and one day it’ll keep you.”

    Thanks for this, Rita. It brings home that even the Greats had hit hard.



  7. Great post. This one is for you, Rita.

    Who is to be more pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing to say. ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

    Also love Erma. Ben Franklin’s line above is also one of my favorites.


  8. June Love says:

    Rita, these are great! I would read one and think, “This is the one,” then, I’d read another one. I keep a quote beside me in my office. The author is unknown…”Some people dream of success…while others wake up and work hard at it.”

    I loved the Erma quotes. She was a brilliant, entertaining, and inspiring woman.


  9. Elisa Beatty says:

    Thanks for these, Rita!!!

    I love them all. But I think maybe I love the Doctorow quote the most: not the fact that it’s raining, but the feeling of being rained on. Yup. That’s what we do. Capture the feeling of actually living, in words.


  10. Kate Parker says:

    I like the one about it took me 15 years to discover I had no talent…, because I’m hoping for that one.

    And the one about women with clean houses not finishing books, because I’ve had a dirty house for years, and can’t imagine living in a clean one any longer.

    Great quotes, Rita. Thank you.


  11. Terri Osburn says:

    I love this blog. So many I’ve seen before, but some that I haven’t. Really like the Twain one about the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. Oh, I hate when I know there is a perfect word but it just won’t come to me.

    Also like the Hemingway about letting them believe you were born a writer. I needed that today.

    And based on the condition of my house, one would believe I am quite the prolific writer. (I’ll clean it once I make this deadline. Two more weeks!)


  12. Great post, Rita!

    My quote–FROM ME–is:

    “Write as if no one will ever read your work. Then everyone will want to.”


  13. Hope Ramsay says:

    I love the one about housework. And seeing as I’ve just finished a book on deadline I’m really feeling that one right now. (And you can add yard work to it.)

    I don’t have a favorite quote on writing, per se, but I do have a song lyric that kept me going for a long time as I was seeking publication and facing one rejection after another. The author of this quote is the singer, songwriter Peter Mayer: “Sometimes to reach the highest places we have to fall.”


    • Rita Henuber says:

      This brought tears to my eyes. We are expected to be a success the first time we try. How does one learn with out some failure? Those who succeed are the ones who fall and keep getting back up. Thanks for sharing.


  14. These are wonderful, Rita. I especially like the Stephen King quote about reading.

    My favorite is from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Do not go where the path may lead; instead go where there is no path and leave a trail.” It’s not the easiest route to take, but it sure is a lot of fun! 🙂


  15. I love this quote from the pop singer from Britain, Ed Sheeran, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.”

    I also love the Native American saying – “Without tears the soul would have no rainbows.”

    I’m going to print off your list. I love quotes. Thank you! Heather


    • Rita Henuber says:

      I have that quote about the end I never knew who to attribute it to. So powerful and so simple.Had never heard the tears and rainbows one. Have added it to my list.


  16. Love these, Rita!! I think I’ll tack a few of these on the wall above my writing desk for inspiration. This is just what I needed today, thanks!


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