12 Most Worth Documenting Writing Quotes

12 Most Worth Documenting Writing Quotes

It’s akin to pulling teeth for some. For others, writing ability is as intrinsic as breathing.

Regardless of your experience, writing is a rudimentary form of communication.

Writing is necessary. Writing well is important to your professional development.

But, here’s a little secret — writing is difficult. There has been a lot of writing done about… well, writing. Even the most proficient writers have days when the words just don’t flow. I imagine it’s those days when many of these 12 Most Worth Documenting Writing Quotes originated…

1. “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

~ Mark Twain

2. “If writing seems hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things people do.”

~ William Zinsser

3. “Writing well means never having to say, ‘I guess you had to be there.’ ”

~ Jef Mallett

4. “Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it’s just an illusion, that people are going to bring their own stuff into it.”

~ David Sedaris

5. “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.”

~ Red Smith

6. “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”

~ E.L. Doctorow

7. “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”

~ James Michener

8. “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

9. “If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.”

~ Isaac Asimov

10. “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”

~ Stephen King

11. “Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies.”

~ Terri Guillemets

12. “Write drunk, edit sober.”

~ Ernest Hemingway

There’s no doubt that writing is hard work, but it also can be a rewarding form of creativity. The best way to become a better writer is just to write. As Ray Bradbury said, “Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you’re doomed.”

Think of it this way, if you write, you might at least squeak out a great quote like the ones above.

Featured image courtesy of Dr Phil via Creative Commons.

Kenna Griffin


Kenna Griffin (@profkrg) is the blogger behind www.profkrg.com, which aims to create an ongoing educational dialogue between professional journalists and media students and educators. In her spare time she teaches journalism, multimedia, public relations, media law, and media ethics courses as a full-time university professor. Oh, and she is a doctoral candidate in mass communication on the side.

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I like this article! But I didn't make it to the top 12... ;-)5 Years ago I came up with a quote: "The unwritten word could be the missing part of what tends to be a great story". It motivates me to put my thoughts into writing.


#3 - “Writing well means never having to say, ‘I guess you had to be there.’ ”...what a CLASSIC ;).


I quoted #12 to my daughters and was immediately Facebook "re-quoted" with proper attribution going to Mr. Hemingway. I loved every one of these, Kenna...sharing all over!


Love this list Prof! It really touches many of the "feelings" we writers have, though writing a novel is a lot tougher than a blog!


I don't know @sharongreenthal , torture and ecstasy, right?  Great list.  I often struggle with my Student of Literature writing vs. Blogging, and what the rules should be.


It is torture being a writer, isn't it! This is such a great list. I especially like #3. What a concise and true description of good writing!


Inspiring list! I particularly like #12. Kenna which is you favorite? 


 @AmyMccTobin yes of course ecstasy - but that's the writer in me, always looking for the provocative twist in the story.