Writing Advice You Might Not Have Heard Before: a Roundup of Internet Quotes

At Loud Coffee Press, one of our most tightly held beliefs is that writers are lifelong learners. We scoured the Internet to see what some of the greats had to say about the craft. Here are some of our favorite finds.



Art by Fred Charles

  1. "Something that you feel will find its own form." - Jack Kerouac

  2. "Pick a subject you care about so deeply that you’d speak on a soapbox about it.” -Kurt Vonnegut

  3. “...do not read from it while the work is in progress. Every gratification procured in this way will slacken your tempo. If this regime is followed, the growing desire to communicate will become in the end a motor for completion.” - Walter Benjamin

  4. “You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touches you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner. “-F. Scott Fitzgerald

  5. “Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand — but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.” -Zadie Smith

  6. “When you can’t create, you can work.”- Henry Miller

  7. “Laugh at your own jokes.” -Neil Gaiman

  8. “Writing is a little door. Some fantasies, like big pieces of furniture, won’t come through.” -Susan Sontag

  9. "Do change your mind. Good ideas are often murdered by better ones." - Roddy Doyle

  10. "The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator." - Jonathan Franzen

  11. "[Writing] is undoubtedly a lonely career, but I suspect that people who find it terribly lonely are not writers." - PD James

  12. " The way to write a book is to actually write a book." - Anne Enright

  13. "Concentrate your narrative energy on the point of change. This is especially important for historical fiction. When your character is new to a place, or things alter around them, that’s the point to step back and fill in the details of their world. People don’t notice their everyday surroundings and daily routine, so when writers describe them it can sound as if they’re trying too hard to instruct the reader." - Hilary Mantel

  14. "If you have a good story idea, don’t assume it must form a prose narrative. It may work better as a play, a screenplay or a poem. Be flexible." - Hilary Mantel

  15. "Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” - Maya Angelou

  16. "I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” - Ray Bradbury

  17. "The best books emerge from the strongest convictions—and for confirmation see any bookshelf.” - Dorothea Brande

And a disclaimer:

“If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another.” - John Steinbeck




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