17 Brilliant Quotes on Writing from the Famed Author Ernest Hemingway

In case there was doubt… this is Ernest Hemingway.

1. “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

2. “The first draft of anything is shit.”

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

4. “All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.”

5. “As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.”

6. “Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don’t cheat with it.”

7. “Write hard and clear about what hurts.”

8. “In order to write about life first you must live it.”

9. “The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.”

10. “It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.”

11. “All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.”

12. “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.”

13. “The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, shit detector.”

14. “After writing a story I was always empty and both sad and happy, as though I had made love, and I was sure this was a very good story although I would not know truly how good until I read it over the next day.”

15. “When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.”

16. “There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.”

17. “You know it makes one feel rather good deciding not to be a bitch.”

That one is less about writing specifically and more about daring to be great – and if you should dare to be great then this last bit of advice is crucial!

I hope you gained something from these bites of wisdom. If you did, chances are you’re an author or an aspiring one. I’m building the best indie author community on the internet right now. It’s going to be awesome, & open soon! Join the waitlist here: The Indie Space

Until next time,

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