Quotes and Writing

Hi SERers! Denise here. Today I’m going to talk about something I appreciate, quotes.

Growing up, I heard many quotes that would make me think. There were a few my great-grandmother would repeat to me, and I would nod with no understanding. Later her wisdom would replay itself to me, and when the youthful veil lifted, I understood her words.

Some words affected me so deeply I passed them on to my children.

A favorite of mine was, “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.” Words my great-grandmother may have borrowed from Edgar Allan Poe’s line, “Believe nothing you hear and only one half that you see.” It’s even truer today with social media.

As an adult, I not only appreciate quotes but read them any chance I get. When I’m overwhelmed with writing projects or I draw a blank, it’s nice to connect with another author’s wisdom. It assures me I’m not alone, and we’re all dealing with the same issues.

Some quotes that inspire me:

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” Stephen King

I’ve learned so much about writing by doing it. When reading I pay close attention to what I enjoy and what I do not. When I sit down to write, I take my observations from reading.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~ Maya Angelou

I agree with Ms. Angelou it would not be very pleasant to reach the end of life without sharing the stories inside. When I want to give up on a story, I remember that.

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” ~ Richard Bach

This one hits home and reminds me not to quit. There are days when I wonder what I’m doing. This quote comes to mind, and I get back to work.

Do you have any favorite writing quotes that have inspired you or brightened your writing day?

Here are some quotes from famous authors. Can you match which author (listed below) said what quote? The answers are provided after the river picture.


  1. “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”
  4. “The best time to plan a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”
  5. “Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly – they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”
  6. “Sometimes the ideas just come to me. Other times I have to sweat and almost bleed to make ideas come. It’s a mysterious process, but I hope I never find out exactly how it works. I like a mystery, as you may have noticed.”
  7. “It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.”
  8. “When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.”
  9. “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
  10. “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”


a. Terry Pratchett

b. George Orwell

c. Agatha Christie

d. Jack Kerouac

e. Mark Twain

f. J.K. Rowling

g. Aldous Huxley

h. Ernest Hemingway

i. Steven King

j. Anton Chekhov


  1. i, 2. h, 3. a, 4. c, 5. g, 6. f, 7. d, 8. b, 9. e, & 10. j.

Thanks for playing along. How did you do?

All of us at Story Empire wish everyone who celebrates St. Patrick’s Day a happy one! May today bring you the quote you need.


92 thoughts on “Quotes and Writing

  1. Pingback: WRITING QUOTES TO INSPIRE | Story Empire

    • That’s wonderful you use quotes in your classes, Liz:) They really do inspire and allow us to think. I like to think about not leaving my story untold when I find myself struggling, it really helps.


    • Quotes are so powerful and can really uplift my moods. I wouldn’t have gotten two right on the quiz, so congrats on your matches! They are all familar but I never remember who said them. Thank you. I hope your week is beautiful as well, Michael 🙂


  2. Thanks, Marje 🙂 I always enjoy doing quizzes and hoped others would. I can picture Agatha Christie plotting murders while cleaning the dinner dishes…lol.


  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Sunday March 21st 2021 – #Quotes D.L. Finn, #Blogging Pete Springer, #BookOffer John W. Howell | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

    • Thank you, Sally:) Sounds like you did the best on the quiz then, yay! I’m not sure I would have done so well even with how familiar they are to me. A lot of wisdom in their words and I don’t worry about that first draft anymore. Xo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great quotes. Inspiring, moving, truthful and funny. But I’m just going to get another cup of coffee / empty the washing machine / check Facebook before I settle down to writing today (don’t quote me on that!). Good luck all!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Number 10 is wonderful! In fact, all of these inspire me as a writer and knowing that others have hit the same problems as I have and overcome them is such an ecouragement I’m going to print these out and stick them next to my desk. Many thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Alex:) Yes, it is wonderful to be reminded we all go through the same things as writers. Good idea to put inspiring words next you when you write. Happy writing!


  6. I love quotes as well, and I use them a lot when I give presentations (on my books, or on writing) and in my writing classes. Quotes say a lot in a few words, and they’re not easy to write! I’ve given talks and readings to a number of elementary classes about writing (and then I read my children’s books) and the teachers LOVE it when I use a quote (and I have no idea whose it is): “What are the six rules that help you be a good writer: READ, READ, READ, READ, READ, and READ. I think this inspires reading in the kids. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a great addition to to your presentations and classes to share quotes, Pam. I can see why the teachers and student like it. That’s a fantastic quote to share and I fully agree about reading. It’s a gift to encourage children to read and opens a new world to them. Xo

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s great you collect quotes, Miriam 🙂 Sounds like you have them organized for easy access. J. K. Rowling had it right it is a mysterious process.


  7. One of my favorite quote – that I attribute to Bear Grylls – is: “Commitment is doing the thing you said you would do long after the mood you said it in has passed.”

    I wrote this quote and used it in my poetry book and on my website: “You may think that I am bitter, but I’m not. I’m tangy.” – Leon Stevens

    Liked by 3 people

    • I like the idea of words as x-rays:) I’m sold on a description of the moon. You are so right Jacquie, we are never alone as writers when we are surrounded by the greats and held up by their words. Xo

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Stop By and Say Hi! Quotes and Writing. #WritingCommunity #authors #authorquotes #storyempire #indieauthor #inspiring – Author D.L. Finn

  9. Pingback: #ReblogAlert – Quotes and Writing by D. L. Finn on #StoryEmpire | The Write Stuff

  10. What a fun post, Denise! I love quotes and really enjoyed all of these. My favorite is #9 and I’m not surprised to find out it was from Mark Twain. Thanks so much for sharing all of them! I’ll be passing this along on The Write Stuff shortly. I know folks will enjoy it as much as I did! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This is such a great post, Denise. I knew the quotations but failed miserably in matching them up to their authors. I have quotes that come back to me at times when I’m struggling to make sense of where my muse has disappeared to so suddenly, so Number 2) works well for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stephen King has a lot of good quotes, but those two really hit home for me as well. Ten is a beautiful way to say show don’t tell and what a masterful way to point out how important word choice is in a story in nine. Glad you got goosebumps, the good kind from the quote. I know what you mean, so much wisdom. Thanks, Mae:)

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What a fun and fabulous post, Denise! I love all these quotes. I think my favorite writing quote came from Winston Churchill. “Never, never, never, never give up!” Thank you for sharing these. And the matching game was fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Quotes 9 and 10 are favorites of mine. I think 9 was the first one I ever wrote as an inspiration to me when asked to list one, actually. There are so many good ones out there, I don’t know how you limited yourself to only ten. You showed great restraint.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Making the point on the use of words using lightening and lightening bug is very insightful. I spend some time trying to find the right word. Good one to inspire you, Staci. I started out with twenty-five quotes and painful cut them down to ten:) I thought about going to five but couldn’t bring myself to do it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Robbie:) That’s great you write the powerful quotes from books. I wish I did that. I love running across quotes on Instagram or other medias. They do motivate me.


  14. Great post, Denise! I love quote #10. I’m a big fan of quotes. I have a few books of them. I like to post them on my board in my classroom and have the students write their interpretation of them. It’s interesting to see the different perspectives. I’ve had some great discussions with my students that way. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Show me the glint of light on glass is a beautiful reminder when writing and a great inspiration and encouragment to express beauty in images.
      What a fantastic classroom project to interpret quotes, Yvette. Not only do they get some wisdom, but they get to decide what it means to them. I can imagine the wonderful discussions that come from that:)

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I got one right. I knew the Anton Chekov quote. I do love inspirational quotes. One that’s stuck with me is from Vincent Van Gogh, “If you hear a voice inside you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. Instead of the word paint, I substitute write.

    I love encouraging posts like these, Denise.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yay for getting one right, Joan. I doubt I would have done that well:) That is such a great quote reminding us to show not tell.
      What a winderful quote, write/paint to silence the inner critic! We could even make that voice a part of the story. Thanks, Joan! I’m big on finding ways to be inspired and encouraged.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Harmony:) They are all familiar words but I don’t always know who the belong to. I do love a good mystery and prefer not to have the magic taken away from the writing process.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: Quotes and Writing | Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

  17. I’m a huge fan of quotes, Denise. I keep a log in my journal. You’re right, it’s nice to reflect on a favorite quote when we get stuck while writing. One of my favorites is
    “Comparison is the thief of joy.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
    Even though I bombed the quiz, I loved this post! By the way, thank you again for your lovely review of my book. xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good idea to keep a log in your journal of quotes, Jill:) Yhat is a very true and powerful quote. The moment I begin to compare myself it does remove all the joy. We are here to bring own own voice and joy into the world and I need a reminder of that once in a while. I wouldn’t have done well on the quiz even though they are all familiar to me. You are very welcome, I throughly enjoyed it!


  18. I love your focus on quotes today, Denise. What a great selection! I failed the quiz but enjoyed the exercise. I particularly related to Agatha Christie’s quote because I seem to write volumes when I’m doing mindless things like washing dishes or house cleaning. Thank you for the morning delight! 😊

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you, Gwen 🙂 There was so many good ones out there it was hard to pick only a few. I admit I wouldn’t have passed the quiz either, even with the words being so familiar. A lot of good ideas come to me too doing those small chores or walking. They become meditative in a way and ideas surface. I have notes books in several places or I will email ideas to myself. It’s also a great way too solve plot issues. Glad you enjoyed this!

      Liked by 1 person

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