"Writers must fortify themselves with pride and egotism as best they can. The process is analogous to using sandbags and loose timbers to protect a house against flood. Writers are vulnerable creatures like anyone else. For what do they have in reality? Not sandbags, not timbers. Just a flimsy reputation and a name."
George-Louis Leclerc, Comte du Buffon
"A writer is a maker, not a man of action: his private life is of no concern to anybody but himself, his family and his friends."
"Writing well is at one and the same time good thinking, good feeling and good expression; it is having wit, soul and taste, all together."
"Writing is not a job description. A great deal of it is luck. Don't do it if you are not a gambler because a lot of people devote many years of their lives to it (for little reward). I think people become writers because they are compulsive wordsmiths."
"I've always just wanted to earn my living by writing. The best thing is to go into my study in the morning and put words together."
Joyce Carol Oates
"You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you've got something to say."
"An intelligent observation of the facts of human existence will reveal to shallow-minded folk who sneer at the use of coincidence in the arts of fiction and drama that life itself is little more than a series of coincidences."
F Scott Fitzgerald
"When you start, the world of publishing seems like a great cathedral citadel of talent, resisting attempts to let you inside. It isn't like that at all. It may be more difficult now, and take longer than when I started to write, but there's a great, empty warehouse out there looking for simple talent."
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
"Asked if editors were no more than failed writers: 'Perhaps - but so are most writers.'"