The artist’s only responsibility is his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one…. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate: The “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is worth any number of old ladies. ~William Faulkner
The reason why many people are so fond of using superlatives, is, they are so positive that the poor positive is not half positive enough for them. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare
Sit down, and put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it. ~Colette, Casual Chance
Having imagination, it takes you an hour to write a paragraph that, if you were unimaginative, would take you only a minute. Or you might not write the paragraph at all. ~Franklin P. Adams
Interviewer: You are suffering from pre-publication schizophrenia with accompanying megalomania on the manic side of the moon.
Mailer: Not the first author to be so afflicted.
Life can’t ever really defeat a writer who is in love with writing, for life itself is a writer’s lover until death — fascinating, cruel, lavish, warm, cold, treacherous, constant. ~Edna Ferber
The writer writes in order to teach himself, to understand himself, to satisfy himself; the publishing of his ideas, though it brings gratification, is a curious anticlimax. ~Alfred Kazin
i never think at all when i write
nobody can do two things at the same time
and do them both well
could give you a number of examples to show how widespread has been this practice of mutual pilfering among the authors of our old literature…. by transferring something of theirs to his own immortal work he [Virgil] has ensured that the memory of these old writers—whom, as the tastes of today show, we are already beginning to deride as well as to neglect—should not wholly perish. ~Macrobius, Saturnalia
[G]usto thrives on freedom, and freedom in art, as in life, is the result of a discipline imposed by ourselves. Moreover, any writer overwhelmingly honest about pleasing himself is almost sure to please others. ~Marianne Moore
Sleep on your writing; take a walk over it; scrutinize it of a morning; review it of an afternoon; digest it after a meal; let it sleep in your drawer a twelvemonth; never venture a whisper about it to your friend, if he be an author especially. ~A. Bronson Alcott