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  • Writer's pictureSteve Gamel

Need Writing Advice? Here's 20 More Can't-Miss Tips, In Quotes

Updated: Jul 18, 2019

Aspiring writers occasionally need to hear encouraging words and advice from predecessors who really knew what the heck they were talking about. These tips are often referred to as nuggets of wisdom, and they are everywhere in the writing world.

I mean, think about all the great writers, poets, journalists, and authors who came before us – Hemingway, Austen, Poe, Twain, Shakespeare, Dickinson, Thoreau. These are just a few of the geniuses who continue to inspire generations of writers, not only through their classic works, but with the indispensable writing advice they left behind.

I wrote a blog in March titled 20 inspirational (and occasionally funny) quotes about writing. And since I clearly can't get enough of these, here are 20 more can't-miss tips from famous writers, poets, and authors – past and present.


“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” ― Ernest Hemingway

“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.” ― Mark Twain

"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry."

― Emily Dickinson

"You cram these words into mine ears against the stomach of my sense."

― William Shakespeare

“10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer Write. Write more. Write even more. Write even more than that. Write when you don’t want to. Write when you do. Write when you have something to say. Write when you don’t. Write every day. Keep writing.” ― Brian Clark

"I try to leave out the parts that people skip."

― Elmore Leonard

"One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place ... something more will arise for later, something better." ― Annie Dillard

"The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart."

― Maya Angelou

"A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build toward it."

― Edgar Allan Poe

"Improve every opportunity to express yourself in writing as if it were your last."

― Henry David Thoreau

“Tell your story. Don't try and tell the stories that other people can tell. Any starting writer starts out with other people's voices. But as quickly as you can start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there will always be better writers than you and there will always be smarter writers than you, but you are the only you.” ― Neil Gaiman

"The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power."

― Toni Morrison

“Make it so good and so clear that it doesn't need any further explanation.” ― Shel Silverstein

"Never use a long word where a short one will do."

― George Orwell

"Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have 'essential' and 'long overdue' meetings on those days."

― J.K. Rowling

"Every sentence must do one of two things – reveal character or advance the action."

― Kurt Vonnegut

“Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy. ...this a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you're brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.” ― Stephen King

“Love words, agonize over sentences. And pay” ― Susan Sontag

"I can always live by my pen."

― Jane Austen

"You don't write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid's burnt socks lying in the road."

― Richard Price

*STEVE GAMEL is the Owner/President of Edit This, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX. Along with being a sports writer for the Denton Record-Chronicle, Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.

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