"You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!"; or, a few good quotes

To help me get all good and prepared, I’ve been looking through my (huge) collection of quotes, and here are some I find particularly useful or interesting or just plain amusing. The first couple writing mantras are anonymous, but the others are attributed. I wrote these on index cards, to be looked at and/or posted around my room next month.

  • Don’t get it right, get it written.
  • Show, don’t tell.
  • Speak the truth, even if it is made up.
  • A writer is never not writing.
  • Writing is a joyful sickness.
  • One can be absolutely truthful and sincere even though admittedly the most outrageous liar. — Henry Miller
  • I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. — Walt Whitman (as quoted in Dead Poets Society)
  • There is always a sheet of paper. There is always a pen. There is always a way out. — H.L. Mencken
  • Writing is all that matters to me. I dread emerging from it each day. — Janet Frame
  • You are either born a writer or you are not. — Cormac McCarthy
  • No iron can pierce the heart with such force as a period put just at the right place. — Isaac Babel
  • Every great or even every very good writer makes the world over according to his own specifications. — Raymond Chandler
  • I proved to my satisfaction that, like any other mortal, I too could write. — Henry Miller (hopefully this is how I will feel November 30, as a winner. hopefully)
  • I elect something that I can love and absorb myself in it. — Anais Nin (I do this too… I hope my momentum stays with me throughout the month)
  • Art is the writer not having control, but the subject having control of the writer. — Paula Vogel
  • How can there be any surprises for the reader if there haven’t been any for the writer? — Flannery O’Conner
  • If you haven’t surprised yourself, you haven’t written. — Eudora Welty
  • How can you write if you can’t cry? — Ring Lardner
  • Do not be afraid to write something! Tell the truth and tell it straight. — Alicia Ostriker
  • The writer distorts reality in the interest of a larger truth. — John L’Heureux
  • An author is a professional liar. — Janet Burroway
  • Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. — Groucho Marx.
  • Writing is a delicious agony. — Gwendolyn Brooks (God rest her soul… she died at the beginning of my Freshman year of college, and I found out, naturally, in an English class)
  • You write and then you erase. You call that a profession? — father of author Saul Bellows
  • You are obviously a writer, which means the torture has just begun. — Professor Wilder, Dawson’s Creek
  • If you don’t know what you’re writing, no one else will. — Vic Racine, My So-Called Life
  • Writing, like life itself, is a voyage of discovery. — Henry Miller
  • A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the other one. — Salada tea bag tag
  • Write what makes you happy. — O. Henry
  • Me, fail English? That’s unpossible! — Ralph Wiggum
  • I am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing. — Anais Nin (this is my signature on the NaNo forums… I have a feeling I will soon come to agree with her yet again)

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  1. Pingback: Just do it « A Desire to Get Creative

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