“When discouraged, remember what VanGogh said: ‘If you hear a voice within you saying: You are no painter, then paint by all means, lad, and that voice will be silenced, but only by working.’”
—Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
—E.L. Doctorow

“‘Do it every day for a while,’ my father kept saying. ‘Do it as you would do scales for the piano. Do it by prearrangement with yourself. Do it as a debt of honor. And make a commitment to finishing things.’”
—Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

“Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.”
—Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

“I believe in miracles in every area of life except writing. Experience has shown me that there are no miracles in writing. The only thing that produces good writing is hard work.”
—Isaac Singer

“As I look back on what I have written, I can see that the very persons who have taken away my time are those who have given me something to say.”
—Katherine Paterson

“Ultimately every writer must choose between safety and invention. . .You must decide which you like better, the perfectionist within or the flawed pages at hand.”
—Allegra Goodman

“Writing is a slow, cumulative way of accepting your life as valid, of accepting yourself over a lifetime, of realizing that your life is important. ”
—Douglas Goetsch

“A book can have faults and still make a difference in someone's life. To a writer, that's very comforting. ”
—Katherine Paterson

“[When writing is going well], I feel the buzz of happinesss. . . .It's like lifting off in an airplane. You're on the ground, on the ground, on the ground, and then you're up riding on a magical cushion of air and prince of all you survey. ”
—Steven King

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best. ”
—Henry Van Dyke

“Seek only the accuracy of your own witnessing. ”
—Patricia Hampl

“It’s never too late for potato salad.”
—Lois Maassen