23 Writing Quotes to Inspire Your Next Novel

For when you just can't get that first word on the page:

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” ― Louis L'Amour

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

“Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood—you will either write or you will not—and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try.” ― Jim Tully, WD

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

"A word after a word after a word is power." ― Margaret Atwood

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

About the influence of reading:

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”― Stephen King

“Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” ― Ray Bradbury

"You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write." ― Annie Proulx

“Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it.Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.”― William Faulkner

For when you can't decide what to write about:

“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.”― Anais Nin

“Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.” ― Meg Cabot

“The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.”― Albert Camus

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”― Madeleine L'Engle

“There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” ― W. Somerset Maugham

“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.” ― Ernest Hemingway

"I write to discover what I know." ― Flannery O'Connor

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”― Anais Nin

A few helpful tips:

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”― Robert Frost

“Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.” ― Hunter S. Thompson

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” ― Mark Twain

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” ― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft