Writing Advice

Six of my Favorite Writing Quotes

black and red typewriter on white table
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” — Benjamin Franklin


When I was younger, I painted and wrote encouraging writing quotes on slips of paper and taped them to my desk. When I moved desks, I took the writings quotes with me and taped them to my new desk. They’re still there now, hanging in plain sight should I ever need a bit of encouragement.

Writing quotes have always cheered me on. They let me know that so many people not only acknowledge that writing is important, but that they believe it with all of their hearts, as do I. With the words of these writing-loving men and women around me, I feel a little less alone and a little more encouraged. I hope some of these encourage you as well!


1. “When I want to read a book, I write one.” – Benjamin Disraeli

I love this one because I’ve heard authors say that the inspiration behind their books was that they wanted to write something they wanted to read. There’s no book like the one you have in your head. Write it down and see what happens!


2. “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” – William Wordsworth

(First of all, with a name like Wordsworth, I just want to say I am happy that that man was a writer.)
Secondly, this quote reminds me that I’m allowed to write what’s in my heart and write for myself. I don’t have to be a people-pleaser whenever I’m developing a character or polishing up an interaction. Of course, I do keep readers in mind when I’m writing, trying to steer away from tropes I know we’re all tired of while trying to add something new to my stories that I hope readers can enjoy. But I don’t have to let future reader expectations smother my creativity. My story can be something that I’d like to read. The things I write down really are the breathings of my heart.


3. “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

I love this quote. It’s so powerful for everyone, not just writers. It’s a call to take action, a call to live enormously before our light goes out. And it’s a confirmation to writers that writing is a noble task.


4. “Don’t get it right, get it written!” – James Thurber

This quote stares me in the face whenever I start tweaking my stories, searching for an impossible perfection. It’s a good quote for NaNoWriMo, too. There’s a time for writing and a time for editing, and in most cases, those times need to be distinct from one another. Writing takes practice and patience, and you might not get it on your first try, but that’s alright. Just get it written.


5. “You only learn to be a better writer by actually writing.” – Doris Lessing

Another good one to motivate me to write when I’d rather procrastinate. Of course, there’s immense value in studying the writing craft. Writing a story when you don’t know the basics of grammar or anything about a good plot line could be frustrating. But the act of writing is what is going to increase your writing talent.


6. “We read to know we are not alone.” – C. S. Lewis

Perhaps one of my favorite quotes. I know it’s not a strict writing quote, but where do book come from? They come from writers. And if we read to know we are not alone, then writing (the producing of that which we read) must be a very noble occupation.
There are so many more great writing quotes out there, but these are my favorites: the ones that have been hanging on my desk for the past few years.

3 thoughts on “Six of my Favorite Writing Quotes

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