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100 Things to Remember if You Need to Write

There are ups and downs as writers. Sometimes it feels like the universe conspires against you when you need to write. Especially when you’re under a deadline!

But we can’t let those seasons of writer’s block, self-doubt, lack of time and motivation stop us from writing. Look at this list of 100 quotes when you need to write, but can’t.

If You Need to Write but Can't | 100 Writing Quotes | Writing Quotes for Writers | Quotes for Writers that Need to Write | How to Motivate Yourself to Write | Inspirational Quotes for Writers

100 Things to Remember if You Need to Write:

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Have you ever been trying to write, but get stuck staring at a blank screen with the cursor blinking at you? We all have those days. Nothing some writing quotes can’t fix though!

And you’re in luck, because I found 100 of my favorites. All of the writing quotes are from professionals in the industry and are sure to pull you out of your funk! Maybe even help you find some inspiration, too. 😉

Kidlit Writer's Starter Kit | Your guide to help you write a children's book

45 Writing Quotes when You Need to Write but Can’t:

  • Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open. -Natalie Goldberg
  • Read obsessively. Write Furiously. Edit carefully.- Sissy Gavrilaki
  • Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader. Not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.- EL Doctorow
  • Sometimes it’s the princess who kills the dragon and saves the prince.- Samuel Lowe
  • Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.- Cyril Connolly
If You Need to Write but Can't | 100 Writing Quotes | Writing Quotes for Writers | Quotes for Writers that Need to Write | How to Motivate Yourself to Write | Inspirational Quotes for Writers
  • Writing: Somewhere between torture and fun. – Unknown
  • Write even when the world is chaotic. You don’t need a cigarette, silence, music, a comfortable chair, or inner peace to write. You just need ten minutes and a writing implement.- Cory Doctorow
  • To write something you have to risk making a fool of yourself– Anne Rice
  • When all else fails, write what your heart tells you. You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.- Mark Twain
  • We write down made-up stories to tell the truths we wish we could say out loud.- Unknown
  • If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.- Margaret Atwood
  • Writing is about letting go of the control and letting the characters tell the story.- Unknown
  • Write hard and clear about what hurts.- Ernest Hemingway
  • Be courageous and try to write in a way that scares you a little- Holly Gerth
  • Good fiction’s job is to comfort the disturbed and the disturb the comfortable.- David Foster Wallace
  • Don’t be afraid to write crap because crap makes great fertilizer. -Jessica Brody
If You Need to Write but Can't | 100 Writing Quotes | Writing Quotes for Writers | Quotes for Writers that Need to Write | How to Motivate Yourself to Write | Inspirational Quotes for Writers
  • It is a delicious thing to write, to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creation.-Gustave Flaubert
  • An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.- Stephen King
  • Don’t be paralyzed by the idea that you’re writing a book; just write.- Isabelle Allende
  • All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.- Ernest Hemingway
  • Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.- Neil Gaiman
  • You fail only if you stop writing.- Ray Bradbury
  • The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.- Terry Pratchett
  • You must write for yourself and not what you think people want to read– Jodi Ellen Malpas
  • Every first draft is perfect because all a first draft has to do is exist. – Jane Smiley
  • You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page. -Jodi Picoult
  • Don’t just plan to write- write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style. – PD James
  • The only people who think writing is easy are people who don’t write. Writing is a difficult, courageous act. Bravery is required, as well as a great deal of slogging along. A lot of our work is work. – Gillian Roberts
  • Step into a scene and let it drip from your fingertips. MJ Bush
  • If you wait for inspiration to write, you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter. -Dan Poynter
  • To get the truth, you want to get your own heart to pound while you write. -Robert McKee
  • If writing is honest, it cannot be separated from the person who wrote it. -Tennessee Williams
  • I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles. -Shannon Hale
  • The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it. -Ernest Hemingway
  • The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon. -Robert Cormier
  • Mistakes are the portals of discovery -James Joyce
  • 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
  • I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of. -Joss Whedon
  • If it’s still in your mind, it is worth taking the risk. -Paulo Coelho
  • Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good. -William Faulkner
  • Do what I did: Pretend you want to do something else and write on the sly until you’re free to do whatever you want!– JK Rowling
  • Keep writing. Even if you think it’s terrible, keep writing; you will only get better with practice. And learn to finish the things you begin because the ending is the hardest part. -Lucy Saxon
  • Write loads, read voraciously go out and live. Things will emerge in the spaces in between and you might be surprised by what does. -Irenosen Okojie
  • You have to write the book that you want to write. You have to be prepared to do your own thing and not bow to the critics, not listen to the policeman in your head saying you shouldn’t do this or that. -Bernardine Evaristo
  • Don’t look back until you’ve written an entire draft, just begin each day from the last sentence you wrote the preceding day. This prevents those cringing feelings, and means that you have a substantial body of work before you get down to the real work. – Will Self

There are days when I’m ready to throw in the towel. Either I’ve received another rejection letter, or I can’t figure out how to fix my story and want to give up. When that happens, I look up quotes for writers on Pinterest.

Being able to see and read these bits of inspiration really turns around my attitude and reminds me why I want to be a writer in the first place. When you have those days, read any of these quotes for writers to refresh yourself.

(I’d even write them on a sticky note and stick them on my desk!)

Download the free children's book template

35 Quotes for Writers When You Need Inspiration:

  • Maybe it won’t be famous. Maybe it won’t be a movie. But that’s not why I started it. And that’s not why I’ll finish.- Ryan Reudell
  • Don’t forget-no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.- Charles de Lint
  • If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it.- Beverly Cleary
If You Need to Write but Can't | 100 Writing Quotes | Writing Quotes for Writers | Quotes for Writers that Need to Write | How to Motivate Yourself to Write | Inspirational Quotes for Writers
  • Quiet people have the loudest minds.- Stephen King
  • A true artist is not one who is inspired but one who inspires others.- Salvador Dali
  • Writers aren’t exactly people. They’re a whole bunch of people trying to be one person.- F Scott Fitzgerald
  • Writer: A peculiar organism capable of transforming caffeine into books.- Unknown
  • If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot, and write a lot.- Stephen King
  • Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.- John Green
  • As a writer, you try to listen to what others aren’t saying about the silence. -NR Hart
  • A writer is a world trapped in a person.- Victor Hugo
  • A real writer doesn’t just want to write; a real writer has to write– Unknown
  • The writer is by nature a dreamer-a conscious dreamer. -Carson McCullers
  • I think new writers are too worried that it has all been said before. Sure it has, but not by you.- Asha Dornfest
  • Only a writer will hold conversations between people that don’t exist. We don’t talk to ourselves. We talk to the people we create from nothing.- Joseph Eastwood
  • Put something silly in the world that ain’t been there before- Shel Silverstein
  • A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, or because everything she does is golden. A writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.- Junot Diaz
  • Someday you’re going to be someone’s favorite author– Flash Fiction
  • A day will come when the story inside you will want to breathe on its own. That’s when you’ll start writing. -Sarah Noffke
  • Writers don’t write from experience, although many are hesitant to admit that they don’t…if you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy. -Nikki Giovanni
  • Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon. -Ann Patchett
  • We are writers, my love. We don’t cry. We bleed on paper.- AY
  • A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world.– Susan Sontag
  • The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar, and familiar things new.- Unknown
  • Most writers write to say something about other people- and it doesn’t last. Good writers write to find out about themselves– and it lasts forever. – Gloria Steinem
  • A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. -Ursula K LeGuin
  • Don’t be ‘a writer’, be writing. – William Faulkner
  • You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better. -Anne Lamott
  • The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. – Anais Nin
  • You can’t blame a writer for what the characters say. -Truman Capote
  • I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. -Joan Didion
  • Nothing haunts us like the things we don’t say. -Mitch Albom
  • The greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. -Roald Dahl
  • Open your mind to new experiences, particularly to the study of other people. Nothing that happens to a writer- however happy, however tragic- is ever wasted. -PD James
  • Think only about the work, about writing a book as good as you can make it. It helps to have the sensation that you are writing a book that doesn’t exist and that you, as a reader, would like to exist. -Adam Foulds

As a writer, did you fall in love with books before you ever thought of writing? We know books are important to better our society, but do we know why books are important to us as writers?

We fall in love with characters, travel to different worlds, and are left with a sense of wonder and longing after we read a good book. Sometimes I finish a book, but I’m so disappointed because there are NO MORE pages! I love when books are that good.

Kidlit Writer's Starter Kit | Your guide to help you write a children's book

20 Reasons Why Books are Important to Writers:

  • Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.- Anne Herbert
  • Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.- Anna Quindlen
  • When in doubt, go to the library– Unknown
  • No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.- Confucious
  • I think books are like people, in the sense that they’ll turn up in your life when you most need them.- Emma Thompson
  • If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.-Einstein
  • Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.- Plato
  • We write by the light of every story we have ever read.– Richard Peck
If You Need to Write but Can't | 100 Writing Quotes | Writing Quotes for Writers | Quotes for Writers that Need to Write | How to Motivate Yourself to Write | Inspirational Quotes for Writers
  • The greatest gift is the passion for reading. It is cheap. It consoles. It distracts. It excites. It gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination- Elizabeth Hardwick
  • In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.- Mortimer J Adler
  • Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift– Charles Scriber, Jr.
  • Here’s the thing: The book that will change your life the most, is the book you write.- Seth Godin
If You Need to Write but Can't | 100 Writing Quotes | Writing Quotes for Writers | Quotes for Writers that Need to Write | How to Motivate Yourself to Write | Inspirational Quotes for Writers
  • A villain is just a victim whose story hasn’t been told. -Chris Colfer
  • Read a thousand books and your words will flow like a river.- Virginia Woolf
  • The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink. – TS Eliot
  • The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think.-Harper Lee
If You Need to Write but Can't | 100 Writing Quotes | Writing Quotes for Writers | Quotes for Writers that Need to Write | How to Motivate Yourself to Write | Inspirational Quotes for Writers
  • If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. -Haruki Murakami
  • Reading forces you to be quiet in a world that no longer makes a place for that. -John Green
  • The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.- Oscar Wilde
  • You are a reader, and therefore a thinker, an observer, a living soul who wants more out of this human experience. -Salil Jha


Sometimes, as writers, we experience self-doubt, writer’s block, or complete lack of motivation. However, if you keep these reasons why you need to write in front of you, you can overcome those seasons.

You know you need to write, but it’s nice when someone (Even just as a sticky note) reminds you to actually START! Be sure to share these quotes with all your writer friends.

We know they need the reminder too!

PS. Check out this article to help you find NEW ideas to write about!

Remember these 100 things when you need to write!

Download the free children's book template

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