This is a list of quotes about
A good essay
A good essay must have this permanent quality about it; it must draw its curtain round us, but it must be a curtain that shuts us in not out.
A masterpiece is something said once and for all, stated, finished, so that it's there complete in the mind, if only at the back.
A writer and his work
Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.
Fiction is like a spider's web, attached ever so slightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Often the attachment is scarcely perceptible.
Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money.
In a queer mood
I was in a queer mood, thinking myself very old: but now I am a woman again - as I always am when I write.
It's none of their business
It's none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.
It is better to write of laughter than of tears, for laughter is the property of man.
Looking at words
All my life I've looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.
No rule on how to write
There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.
Not a caricature
When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.
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 water.
Poetry and prose
Yet, it is true, poetry is delicious; the best prose is that which is most full of poetry.
A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book.
Serious writers and solemn writers
A serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.
The good parts of a book
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 other.
The well of my writing
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 it.
There is nothing to writing
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
Three rules for writing
There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
W. Somerset Maugham
We are all apprentices
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
Writing a mighty book
To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it.
For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.
Writing like God
I don't like to write like God. It is only because you never do it, though, that the critics think you can't do it.
Writing standing up
Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up.
There are events which are so great that if a writer has participated in them his obligation is to write truly rather than assume the presumption of altering them with invention.