E.B. White once said, “No one can write decently who is distrustful of the reader’s intelligence or whose attitude is patronizing.” If only the writers on here had heeded that advice. This list is full of the worst quotes about writing from the most pretentious writers.
The writers on this list give some pretty bad writing advice. There’s ageism, sexism, and so much self-importance. So vote up the most eye-rolling, insufferable quotes on writing, and then channel that anger into some damn good writing of your own. Hey, whatever you write, it’s definitely going to be better than the quotes on this list. Even if it’s just a string of expletives.
My Own Writing
"At this point in my life, I'm mostly influenced by my own past writing ... Direct influence makes most sense only for very young writers." – Jonathan Franzen
A good way to encourage people to read your work is to sell them your ignorance as wisdom.
“If you ask a twenty-one-year-old poet whose poetry he likes, he might say, unblushing, ‘Nobody's.’ In his youth, he has not yet understood that poets like poetry, and novelists like novels; he himself likes only the role, the thought of himself in a hat.” – Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
Stereotyping and marginalizing people based on nothing but their age seems like a great way to encourage young people to be creative. Gotta love being told by someone who has never read your work or felt the weight of your life experiences that you must be self-involved and vain because you have the audacity to be young. If only Rimbaud had read Dillard.
People in California
“There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.” – Terry Pratchett
Maybe there’s no such thing as writer’s block, but there’s definitely such a thing as depression and self-doubt. Compassion is also a thing, in case you were wondering.
People Do Not Deserve Good Writing
“People do not deserve good writing, they are so pleased with bad.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Translation: “These plebeians will just never understand the sophistication of my words.”