Top 10 Writing Quotes by Famous Female Writers

Saturday, April 19, 2014
I collect quotes from writers about writing because they inspire me. Sometimes a short sentence or fragment on writing is enough get my pen to paper (or my fingers to keyboard). Here’s a short list of inspiring quotes on writing by some of the western world’s most famous female writers. Enjoy!

10. A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. Virginia Woolf

9. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
9. I ask questions. I watch the world. And what I have discovered is that the parts of my fiction that people most tell me are 'unbelievable' are those that are most closely based on the real, those least diluted by my imagination. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

8. Writing is an extreme privilege but it's also a gift. It's a gift to yourself and it's a gift of giving a story to someone. Amy Tan

7. For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest external horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives. Audre Lorde

6. There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you. Maya Angelou

5. If there’s a book you want to read, and it hasn't been written yet, you must write it. Toni Morrison

4. I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before delving [her] talent, [she] would be wise to develop a thick hide. Harper Lee

1. Margaret Atwood
3. Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he'd had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, "Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird. Anne Lamott

2. If you’re going to write a good book, you have to make mistakes and you have to not be so cautious all the time. Zadie Smith

1. Writing down a story is always a gesture of hope. Why? Because you are assuming there will be someone alive who will be interested in it and who will read it later in time. That’s a truly hopeful thing. Margaret Atwood

What are some of your favorite inspiring quotes on writing by female writers?

By: Anne Greenawalt, writer and writing instructor


BECKY said...

"My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living." - Anais Nin

(This is one of many of my favorites!)

Victoria said...

I do not think I can get any nearer than this to the sources of my story-telling; I can only say that the process, though it takes place in some secret region on the sheer edge of consciousness, is always illuminated by the full light of my critical attention.
--Edith Wharton, cited by John Updike in his review in the NYer of 16 April, 2007, of a biography by Hermione Lee.

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