The Saturday Writing Quote & A Drawing

“Love is the answer to everything. It’s the only reason to do anything. If you don’t write stories you love, you’ll never make it. If you don’t write stories that other people love, you’ll never make it. ”

— Ray Bradbury, 1920-2012

Share one of your favorite quotes about writing or reading in the comments. Sunday evening, Mr. Kitten will choose one winner to receive a signed copy of Books, Crooks & Counselors. (If you don’t need a copy because you’ve already bought one, thank you! Post a quote anyway — just mention that you don’t need to be entered in the drawing.)

“I love [quotations] because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognizedly wiser than oneself.”

— attributed to Marlene Dietrich

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23 thoughts on “The Saturday Writing Quote & A Drawing

  1. My favorite quote extends to all endeavors– not just reading.

    “It takes a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.”
    Alfred North Whitehead

  2. Makes one think!! A favorite quote by an unusual lady.

    ” No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

  3. As a Missouri native, I have to quote Mark Twain with my favorite advice for getting past writer’s block (not that there’s any such thing):

    “If you invent two or three people and turn them loose in your manuscript, something is bound to happen to them—you can’t help it; and then it will take you the rest of the book to get them out of the natural consequences of that occurrence, and so first thing you know, there’s your book all finished up and never cost you an idea.” — Mark Twain

  4. Dorothy Parker’s quote aptly describes writers who are often lost in thought, dreaming up their next paragraph, page or book.

    “It turns out that, at social gatherings, as a source of entertainment, conviviality, and good fun, I rank somewhere between a sprig of parsley and a single ice skate.” — Dorothy Parker, quoted by gossip columnist Liz Smith in The Huffington Post

  5. The author must keep his mouth shut when his work starts to speak.
    – Frederich Nietzsche

    That is the best moment for me, when I realize my subconscious has woven together a few vague threads while I was busily banging words together and the resulting gossamer scarf draws the eye away from the dents I made with my hammer.

  6. Not specifically about the business or craft of writing, but certainly can be used when referring to plots:

    Pleasures may turn a heart to stone, riches may make it callous, but sorrows cannot break it. Hearts live by being wounded.

    Oscar Wilde (I believe)

  7. When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.

    Erma Bombeck

  8. As for style of writing, if one has anything to say, it drops from him simply and directly, as a stone falls to the ground.
    – Henry David Thoreau

  9. Description is what makes the reader a sensory participant in the story. Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how-to, you see; it’s also a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.–Stephen King – On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (2000) – On Writing, 6

    I leave a quote every day for my writing students. I like this quote, but it doesn’t go far enough in a way. I’d add: Be specific in everything. Don’t say, `Jack bought a book.’ You have to name the book and if it’s important enough to mention, you might want to describe the picture on the cover. But don’t overdescribe. miki

  10. As I’m facing a book club meeting at my house this coming week with my library/dining room table covered with papers and writing stuff plus on both of my desks, the only quote I can think of comes from a little blurb in the paper I cut out years ago, and have no idea who first said it. It reads: “If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, we can’t help but wonder what an empty desk indicates.” I guess my mind is cluttered, but I like to think it’s cluttered with writing ideas.

  11. “We can’t solve problems through the same kind of thinking as when we created them.” -Albert Einstein-

    (I have Books, Crooks and Counselors within arm’s reach on my desk. It is not collecting dust bunnies. Many, many thanks for all this wonderful information). Olga

  12. I rely on this quote:
    Eventually you’re going to reach the point where just one more attempt, one more effort will bring real success. What a shame it would be to give up just as you reached that point.

    You do not know what the next effort will bring because the future is not based on the past. That feeling of wanting to give up is based solely on the past, which really doesn’t matter any more. What matters now is where you’re headed, not where you’ve been. And when you view it from that perspective, giving up is simply not an option.

    –R. Marston

  13. So many wonderful quotes. I’ve enjoyed reading them all. I have a whole notebook full of writerly quotes and thoughts. Think I may have to add a few. Here are a couple.

    “Writers use everything. If it doesn’t kill you, you probably wind up using it in your writing.” Octavia Butler

    “The Possible’s slow fuse is lit by the Imagination.” Emily Dickinson

    “You must plough with such oxen as you have.” English Proverb

  14. When I lived in San Diego we had a beautiful walk way through a park that was lined with pavers engraved with quotes from Dr. King. The following was always me favorite:
    The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
    Martin Luther King Jr. 1963

    While I’m sure it wasn’t his intention I think this is great advice to keep in mind when working with the characters we create.

  15. A reporter once asked Mark Twain in an interview if he, Mark Twain, thought his work should be considered as quality literature. There was a big bruhaha then about pulp novels versus works by legitimate authors. Mark Twain answered the reporter that nothing was better than great literature. It was like a bottle of very fine wine. Of course, he told the reporter, you have to understand that most of us drink water.

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