What do you think about these quotes about writing?

One of my friends collects interesting quotes about writing. He sent me these the other day. He must have known I collect writing quotes as well. Though I don’t agree with all of them, I’d love to hear your reactions. Please comment below.

Nelson Algren

“It’s a lousy, stupid thing to do. You start out thinking people are going to admire you and love you and respect you, but really, nobody gives a shit. It’s a terrible life.”
~Nelson Algren

“Writing is like prostitution. First, you do it for the love of it, then you do it for a few friends, and finally, you do it for money.”

“If you can’t annoy somebody there is little point in writing.”
~Kingsley Amis

“In him [and I’m sure today he would have added “and her”]  no simple feeling exists anymore. All that he sees, his joys, his pleasures, his sufferings, his despairs, become instantaneously subjects of observation. He analyzes in spite of everything, in spite of himself, without end, hearts, faces, gestures, intonations . . . The writer’s temperament. Never to suffer, to think, to love, to feel, like all the world, honestly, sincerely, simply, without analyzing himself after each joy and after each sob.”

“I wish you good writing and good luck. Even if you’ve already done the good writing,
you’ll still need the good luck. It’s a shark-filled lagoon out there. Cross your fingers
and watch your back.”
~Margaret Atwood

Jack Kerouac

“Be in love with your life
Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
Blow as deep as you want to blow
Write what you want bottomless from the bottom of the mind
Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
Write in recollection and amazement for yourself.”
~Jack Kerouac

“The answer is never the answer. What’s really interesting is the mystery. If you seek the mystery instead of the answer, you’ll always be seeking.  I’ve never seen anybody really find the answer – they think they have, so they stop thinking. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer.”
~Ken Kesey

Well, what do you think?


  1. Great quotes! Here is my contribution, perhaps a debatable one: Allison Leotta: ” . . . writing a book is more difficult than law school, running a marathon, or climbing a mountain!”

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