Writer Motivation – Quotations

October 14, 2009

I turn to these quotations for inspiration or motivation as a writer. Face it: Writing can be a lonely business. Having the comfort or motivation of inspiring words from other writers (or from those who understand the challenges of writing) can go a long way toward fabricating some sense of fellowship, and maybe even generating creative action.  🙂  On other topics, see more quotations for writers here.


“I shall live badly if I do not write, and I shall write badly if I do not live.” (Francoise Sagan)

“Why do writers write? Because it isn’t there.” (Thomas Berger)

Close the door. Unplug the phone. Cheat, lie, disappoint your pals, if necessary, but get your work done.(Garrison Keillor)

One hasn’t become a writer until one has distilled writing into a habit, and that habit has been forced into an obsession. Writing has to be an obsession. It has to be something as organic, physiological, and psychological as speaking or sleeping or eating.” (Niyi Osundare)

These next five are some of my favorite quotes for general motivation toward taking on any monumental task, whether writing or not:

”The most important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one’s work seriously and taking one’s self seriously. The first is imperative, and the second disastrous.” (Margaret Fontey)

“We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.” (Rudyard Kipling)

“Every production of genius must be the production of enthusiasm.” (Benjamin Disraeli)

“They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.” (Francis Bacon)

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” (Chinese Proverb)

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” (Aristotle)

“As I got ready to write the screenplay [for Terminator 2], I kept asking myself, What’s the real goal of this movie? Are we going to blow people away and get them all excited? Is that it? Or is there a way we can get them to really feel something? I thought it would be a real coup if we can get people to cry for a machine. If we can get people to cry for Arnold Schwarzenegger playing a robots, that would be terrific.”
(Screenwriter-Director James Cameron)

“Illusion is the first of all pleasures.” (Oscar Wilde)

“Have fun! The most important thing to do is to love what you’re doing.  That way, getting better at it isn’t a struggle, it’s a pleasure.”  Blake Snyder.