106 Powerful Quotes to Inspire Your Writing Today

writing quotesWriting can be lonely sometimes.

You write and write but can’t get results, or you just can’t shake off the feeling that you’re inadequate.

You’re not alone.

We all feel the same way, and even successful writers and philosophers who were the best of their time couldn’t shake of these feelings either. No matter how much you achieve, it isn’t enough. And no matter how successful you are, that feeling of inadequacy will still be there.

The solution to this, however, is motivation. Instead of worrying about perfection or inadequacy, why not get inspiration from those you look up to? Why not see how they’re made, and what they’ll do in the same situation as you?

Here are 201 writing quotes to keep you motivated today.

While there are a lot of quotes listed, the idea is that you should read them gradually. Some of the quotes below will motivate you, some will make you think, and almost every quote has a deeper meaning. Bookmark this page today, and come back to it every day for a new quote to refresh your day.

What it Takes to be a Writer

If you wish to be a writer, writeEpictetus

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside youMaya Angelou

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write itToni Morrison

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matterMartin Luther King Jr.

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospectAnaïs Nin

In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicableJohn Steinbeck

I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of livingAnne Morrow Lindbergh

So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who readsDr. Seuss

Writing and Emotion

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for itAnais Nin

A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friendsFriedrich Nietzsche

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the readerRobert Frost

For a creative writer, possession of the “truth” is less important than emotional sincerityGeorge Orwell

Never write anything that does not give you great pleasure. Emotion is easily transferred from the writer to the readerJoseph Joubert

Reading/Learning/Listening

I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed itErnest Hermingway

One must be an inventor to read well. There is then creative reading as well as creative writingRalph Waldo Emerson

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to readGroucho Marx

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as thatStephen King

Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is allOscar Wilde

The ear is the only true writer and the only true readerRobert Frost

Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact manFrancis Bacon

The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading in order to write. A man will turn over half a library to make a bookSamuel Johnson

What I do believe is that there is always a relationship between writing and reading, a constant interplay between the writer on the one hand and the reader on the otherGuillermo Cabrera Infante

Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the windowWilliam Faulkner

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lotStephen King

Practice, Perfection & Expertise

Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mindBernard M Baruch

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a songMaya Angelou

However great a man’s natural talent may be, the act of writing cannot be learned all at onceJean-Jacques Rousseau

Some critics will write ‘Maya Angelou is a natural writer’ – which is right after being a natural heart surgeonMaya Angelou

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quitRichard Bach

The first draft of anything is shitErnest Hermingway

But I am learning that perfection isn’t what matters. In fact, it’s the very thing that can destroy you if you let itEmily Giffin

Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive personDavid M Burns

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the peopleAne Lamott

Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest orderAnne Wilson Schaef

The grandest seduction of all is the myth that DOING EVERYTHING BETTER gets us where we want to be. It gets us somewhere, certainly, but not anywhere worth beingShauna Niequist

At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous. It’s about fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of failure. Fear of successMichael Law

Preciousness and perfectionism are the enemies of laughter, Feig says. I’d go further: They can be inimical to creativity itselfScott Brown

Dealing with Criticism

The writer of originality, unless dead, is always shocking, scandalous; novelty disturbs and repelsSimone de Beauvoir

Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anywayEleanor Roosevelt

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your lifeWinston S. Churchill

Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inchesAndy Warhol

Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win themRalph Waldo Emerson

To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothingAristotle

The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except geniusOscar Wilde

If you have no critics you’ll likely have no successMalcom X

Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible, and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works, or of the kinds of writing that they evidently preferJ.R.R Tolkien

If you show someone something you’ve written, you give them a sharpened stake, lie down in your coffin, and say, ‘When you’re ready’David Mitchell

If critics say your work stinks it’s because they want it to stink and they can make it stink by scaring you into conformity with their comfortable little standards. Standards so low that they can no longer be considered “dangerous” but set in place in their compartmental understandingsJack Kerouac

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradictedRalph Waldo Emerson

Ignore all hatred and criticism. Live for what you create, and die protecting itLady Gaga

Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticismsGeorge Eliot

The artist doesn’t have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don’t have the time to read reviewsWilliam Faulkner

To acquire true self power you have to feel beneath no one, be immune to criticism and be fearlessDeepak Chopra

I would rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you can do to an author is to be silent as to his worksSamuel Johnson

Finding Opportunities

The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunityJF Kennedy

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a clubJack London

No great man ever complains of want of opportunitiesRalph Waldo Emerson

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficultyWinston S. Churchill

We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like workThomas Edison

With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to chooseWayne W. Dyer

You can’t outwit fate by standing on the sidelines placing little sidebets about the outcome of life. Either you wade in and risk everything you have to play the game or you don’t play at all. And if u don’t play u can’t winJudith McNaught

Difficulties mastered are opportunities wonWiston Churchill

Confidence

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubtSylvia Plath

The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not trueJohn Steinbeck

A writer must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraidWilliam Faulkner

You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they doEleanor Roosevelt

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sureMark Twain

When you’re different, sometimes you don’t see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn’tJodi Picoult

We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the sameCarlos Castaneda

Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitableCoco Chanel

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to liveJohan Wolfgang von Geothe

Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or herLao Tzu

Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with youCynthia Kersey

You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failingRichard P Feynman

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy – Norman Vincent Peale

Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrongEleanor Roosevelt

Let others determine your worth and you’re already lost, because no one wants people worth more than themselvesPeter V. Brett

The only power that exists is inside ourselves….Anne Rice

Creativity

The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life and one is as good as the otherErnest Hermingway

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

My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of livingAnais Nin

It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in itAnais Nin

My idea of a writer: someone interested in everythingSusan Sontag

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubtSylvia Plath

We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way downKurt Vonnegut

A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat othersAyn Rand

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractionsAlbert Einstein

Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t “try” to do things. You simply “must” do thingsRay Bradbury

The chief enemy of creativity is good sensePablo Picasso

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you haveMaya Angelou

Mastery

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleedErnest Hermingway

If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above waterErnest Hermingway

When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricatureErnest Hermingway

Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desireNapoleon Hill

I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discoveringRobert Frost

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bugMark Twain

You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to writeSaul Bellow

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glassAnton Chekhov

Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingersIsaac Asimov

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quitRichard Bach

Writers don’t retire. I will always be a writerAndy Rooney

Volume depends precisely on the writer’s having been able to sit in a room every day, year after year, aloneSusan Sontag

What one writer can make in the solitude of one room is something no power can easily destroySalman Rushdie

Easy reading is damn hard writingNathaniel Hawthorne

Writing is easy. You only need to stare at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your foreheadGene Fowler

You have to put in many, many, many tiny efforts that nobody sees or appreciates before you achieve anything worthwhileBrian Tracy 

How to Get the Best from the Above Quotes

The only way to get the best from the above quotes is by bookmarking this page, or by printing the quotes and getting to it every day. The quotes listed above are too powerful to be comprehended in one day, and you can see yourself going over and over a particular quote for days.

Bookmark this post on Delicious or Stumbleupon, read it regularly, and email it to friends you think will benefit from it!

Image Credit

About the Author

Onibalusi Bamidele is the 17 year old founder of YoungPrePro. Follow him on twitter here.
  • http://www.aha-now.com/ Harleena Singh

    Wonderful list of quotes Oni!

    This is surely going to be bookmarked right away, as I am just a fan of quotes and they always form a part of my posts, on both my blogs. I think they add so much more value to the post.

    Thanks so much for sharing. :)

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Aha, thanks Harleena!

      I’m glad you found the quotes helpful :)

  • http://www.kwopensource.co.za Keith Williams

    Hi there

    An excellent list of quotes.

    I have just got hold of a book of quotes which I am really enjoying. Not sure if it is still in circulation but here it is in any case.

    The book is called Paper Prophets – A treasury of quotations about writers and writing.

    Thanks

    Keith

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Sounds like a great book! I just searched Amazon for it but couldn’t find a copy. Any idea where I can get a copy?

      • http://www.kwopensource.co.za Keith Williams

        Oni

        I actually picked up the book at one of our informal markets. It was compiled by one of our local authors Jenny Hobbs in South Africa and was printed in 1998.

        Checked out Amazon and here is the link – http://www.amazon.com/Paper-Prophets-Jenny-Hobbs/dp/1868722279.

        Hope that it is of assistance.

        Must say that I am really enjoying this one.

        Keith

        • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

          Thanks, Keith! I’ll be checking it out

  • http://seoebooklab.blogspot.com rambabu seo

    thanks for these quotes, must appreciate you gathering these all stuff to motivate me .. we all on the same race to get the JOB done!

  • http://webcontentsupplier.com Saeed@WebContentSupplier

    Thanks a lot Oni for the list of inspirational quotes from great writers.

    Allow me to add one to make it 107: “writers are the most unique and most talented individuals on earth.” — Bamidele Onibalusi. The world biggest chief guest blogger. lol!

    Keep up the good work bro!

  • http://bluecollarliving.com James Dibben

    Fantastic list!

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Thanks, James! I’m glad you enjoyed the list. :)

  • http://technorable.com Richard Fernz

    Really nice and interesting list of Quotes here…
    Thanks for the motivation to keep writing Bamidele!

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      I’m glad I could be of help :)

  • http://freeonlinecoursesfromtopuniversities.com/ Boyd Carter

    Powerful quotes to inspire writing – or any other noble cause!

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Thanks a lot for the support, Boyd! I’m glad you loved the quotes :)

  • http://www.abloggersbooks.com/2011/09/e-books-for-free.html Anne @ writing site

    Great list, Oni. I’m also compiling a list of quotes from writers. Looks like I have to delay posting it now :-). I liked the fact that you have contemporary and past writers, musicians and poets, and a wide cross-section of creative people. I’ve always admired Winston Churchill’s quotes.

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Exactly. The above quotes inspired me a lot, so why not share them irrespective of whom it originated from?

  • Ejike Okorafor

    Thanks for this great quotes, for it’s impacts are immensely immeasurable to me and I pray that may the ALMIGHTY GOD our heavenly father give you more grace to reach out for many more people like me, actually am a beginner yet to commence any online writing of any sought but I know that i will surely come out with a great one soon with your great help.

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Aha, Amen :)

      I hope this blog and my articles can be of great help! :)

  • http://www.planetnaveen.com Naveen Kulkarni

    Absolutely brilliant collection Oni,
    Thanks for sharing :-)

  • http://www.chase-a-dream.com Karunesh @ chase-a-dream.com

    Beautifully compiled list of quotes Oni.

  • http://www.carnivalgoa.com/casino/ Goa casinos

    Hi,

    Nice article to motivate any person who is feeling alone in their life and no doubt in that writing can say lot of things and it can prove your best friend in any condition.

    Beside that all tips have something for live a good life so if we will follow some of these tips then i think we can learn and do many things in our life easily.

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      You’re right. I’m glad you enjoyed the quotes! :)

  • http://www.faqspedia.com shyam jos

    great quotes ,really inspirational

  • http://www.jobsinayurveda.com Bill

    Fabulous list. But, I didn’t see one of my favorites that motivates me:
    “Do or do not. There is no try”

    Guess the movie that one’s from.

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Aha, I guess that will be Star Wars?

  • http://www.techatlast.com/ Olawale Daniel

    Hi Oni,

    It is true, Inspirational quotes helps us to stain motivated in every situation we found ourselves, either favourable or not favourable, it always gives us hope that we can still achieve our aims.

    Thanks for these selection of quotes.

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Thanks bro!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the quotes :)

      • http://blogtech.in Rahul Kangjam

        your quootes are giving some way of learning as blogger

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  • http://www.veggieab.com Abigail Johnson Akingbade

    Loving the quotes Oni It gives me much satisfaction to know I’m not alone in my writing and I have a resource of inspirational quotes to motivate me to keep writing! Thank you for this posts. :))

  • http://www.varsityjacketsformen.net/ Jackets

    All of those are great quotes and quite inspiring thanks a lot.

  • http://blogtech.in Rahul Kangjam

    man i like this
    -No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader – Robert Frost
    -awesome one

  • http://blogtech.in Rahul Kangjam

    No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader – Robert Frost

    this one is great

  • http://ultimasuccess.com John Matos

    Great post! Tips and quotes done by people we admire is always so inspirational. We know if they did it, so can we. Great stuff dude!

    - John

  • http://makemoneyim.com Tobi

    Thanks Bamidele,
    Great post and some inspiring quotes,
    especially liked Pablo Picasso’s one: ” The chief enemy of creativity is good sense”
    Brilliant!