20 Inspirational Quotes for Writing Motivation

Getting students excited about writing may not always be easy. Some may see writing as an overwhelming, dull, and difficult task. Others may feel stuck on a certain stage in their writing process. Yet others may not know how to even start writing.

We need role models! And when it comes to writing, who can be a better role model than a successful author? Today, I’d like to share a few inspirational quotes about writing from successful authors.

You can use these quotes in multiple ways. You can share them with your students in combination with a writer’s short biography or their most famous piece of writing. You can use a quote to motivate students on a particular stage in their writing process (e.g., brainstorming, editing). You could ask students to discuss a quote in small groups and share their thoughts with each other. Opportunities are endless.

I hope these quotes can help you motivate and inspire your students and help them view the writing enterprise as a creative and engaging activity.


1. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” (Maya Angelou)

2. “A word after a word after a word is power” (Margaret Atwood)

3. “Tears are words that need to be written” (Paulo Coelho)

4. “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed” (Ernest Hemingway)

5. “My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way” (Ernest Hemingway)

6. “The writer is an explorer. Every step is an advance into a new land” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

7. “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader” (Robert Frost)

8. “Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly—they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced” (Aldous Huxley)

9. “Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly” (Franz Kafka)

10. “Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open” (Stephen King)

11. “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on” (Louis L’Amour)

12. “You can make anything by writing” (C.S. Lewis)

13. “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write” (Martin Luther)

14. “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people” (Thomas Mann)

15. “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it” (Tony Morrison)

16. “The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible” (Vladimir Nabokov)

17. “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect” (Anaïs Nin)

18. “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt” (Sylvia Plath)

19. “Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences” (Sylvia Plath)

20. “You can fix anything but a blank page” (Nora Roberts)

About Elena Shvidko

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko is an assistant professor at Utah State University. She received her doctorate in second language studies from Purdue University and her master’s degree in TESOL from Brigham Young University. Her work appears in TESOL Journal, System, Journal on Response to Writing, TESOL interest section newsletters, and TESOL's New Ways series. Her research interests include second language writing, multimodal interaction, interpersonal aspects of language teaching, and teacher professional development.
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4 Responses to 20 Inspirational Quotes for Writing Motivation

  1. Shâsth says:

    Good and helpful article and quotes. Well done and keep sharing this activity.

  2. hookrow says:

    Really a good article and have helpful quotes. You are doing a great job. Keep sharing.

  3. loved your article, thanks for sharing these lines, it is really helpful, please keep sharing more stuff like this.

  4. Ken says:

    It always great to be inspired by those who have gone before us. Thank you for this idea which can be applied in the classroom or for self study.

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