by ARHuelsenbeck


From some of the greatest minds of literature:

  • Plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. ~Ken Kesey

  • It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it. ~Terry Pratchett

  • Never ask whether you can do something. Say instead that you are going to do it, then fasten your seat belt. ~Julia Cameron

  • Everything you look at can become a fairy tale, and you can get a story from everything you touch. ~Hans Christian Andersen

  • The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (“I found it!”) but rather “Hmm, that’s funny…” ~Isaac Asimov

  • None of us suddenly becomes something overnight. The preparations have been in the making for a lifetime. ~Gail Godwin

  • If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten. ~Rudyard Kipling

  • There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ~Maya Angelou

  • You go to bed every night thinking that you’ve written the most brilliant passage ever done, which somehow the next day you realize is sheer drivel. ~Tom Wolfe

  • The more you reason the less you create. ~Raymond Chandler

  • I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose. ~Stephen King

  • It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly. ~ C.J. Cherryh

  • In general, there’s no point in writing hopeless novels. We all know we’re going to die; what’s important is what kind of men and women we are in the face of this. ~Anne Lamott


  • Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any. ~Orson Scott Card

  • Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up. ~Jane Yolen

  • If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor. ~Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for? ~Alice Walker

  • The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself. ~Albert Camus

  • Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. ~John Steinbeck

  • Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing. ~Norman Mailer

  • The secret of it all is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood of the moment—to put things down without deliberation—without worrying about their style, without waiting for a fit time or place. I always worked that way. I took the first scrap of paper, the first doorstep, the first desk, and wrote—wrote, wrote…By writing at the instant, the very heartbeat of life is caught. ~Walt Whitman

What I love about these quotes is they give me a little glimpse of each author’s motivation. When I think of the books I’ve read by these authors, I see how well each quote fits their work. How honest they are with their words.



Guest post contributed by ARHuelsenbeck. Former elementary general music teacher ARHuelsenbeck blogs about the arts and the creative process at ARHtistic License. She is currently writing a YA mystical fantasy and a Bible study guide, and submitting a poetry chapbook, with mystery and MG drafts waiting in the wings. You can see some of her artwork, photography, and quilts on Instagram.