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Crazyhorse Quick Quotes Contest

Crazyhorse Magazine asked people to send in their favorite short quotes on writing.  Out of over 500 entries, they picked 20 and then they picked 80 more to post in the perpetual quote box on their site. I found the results unsurprising, though not necessarily untrue or not inspired or insightful. Those are listed below. If you want the other 80, let me know, I’ll email ’em to you. 

I invite people to add quotes to the comments section that aren’t about writing, but work when you put them in that context.  Here’s an example: In his song, “Just a Friend,” Biz Markie says, “Have you ever met a girl you tried to date/ But a year to make love she wanted you to wait?”  Well, perhaps it’s not how he meant it, but I see that line as a metaphor for thinking of a story I want to write, but it takes a year to get it right.  What, what!

Without further adieu: The Top-20 Quotes

“What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.”
—Logan Pearsall Smith
“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
—Ernest Hemingway
“The poet: would rather eat a heart than a hambone.”
—Theodore Roethke
“If there is a special Hell for writers it would be in the forced contemplation of their own works.”
—John Dos Passos
“I only write when I feel the inspiration. Fortunately, inspiration strikes at 10:00 o’clock every day.”
—William Faulkner
“If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.”
—Hunter S. Thompson
“The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet. His problem is to find that location.”
—Flannery O’Connor
“I write a little every day, without hope and without despair.”
—Isak Dinesen
“Write, damn you! What else are you good for?”
—James Joyce
“If I don’t write to empty my mind I go mad.”
—Lord Byron
“I could claim any number of high-flown reasons for writing, just as you can explain certain dogs behavior… But maybe, it’s that they’re dog, and that’s what dogs do.”
—Amy Hempel
“Writing is easy. You just sit down at the typewriter and open a vein.”
—Red Smith
“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant.”
—Winston Churchill
“Always pull back—and see how silly we must look to God.”
—Jack Kerouac
“The end of all our exploring will be to arrive when we started and know the place for the first time.”
—T.S. Eliot
“If you’re a good writer, these days, you pay attention to the way that people don’t pay attention.”
—Charles Baxter
“There are three rules to writing a novel and nobody knows what they are.”
—Wm. Somerset Maugham
“Writing is finally a series of permissions you give yourself to be expressive in certain ways. To leap. To fly. To fail.”
—Susan Sontag
“We put on our stories before our clothes….”
—William Wenthe
“All good writing is swimming underwater and holding your breath.”
—F. Scott Fitzgerald
“All I am is the trick of words writing themselves.”
—Anne Sexton

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