Writing and Editing Quotes I enjoy

“If I had more time I would have written a shorter letter.”

– Variously attributed to, among others, Churchill, Pascal, Twain, and Franklin

“Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.”

– William Strunk

“All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”

– George Orwell

“I quote others only in order the better to express myself.”

– Michel de Montaigne

“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”

– Voltaire

“A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.”

– Kafka

“To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself.”

– Twain

“As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I’m not sure that I’m going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says ‘you are nothing’, I will be a writer.”

– Hunter S. Thompson

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

– Ernest Hemingway

“Put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.”

– Colette

“There is a saying: Genius is perseverance. While genius does not consist entirely of editing, without editing it’s pretty useless.”

– Susan Bell

“There is no great writing, only great rewriting.”

– Justice Louis Brandeis


By thomasfarley01

Business writer and graphic arts gadfly.

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