Books as Mentors — Quotations to Ponder

This is a list in progress.


On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft — Stephen King

Becoming a Writer — Dorothea Brande

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within — Natalie Goldberg

My Reading Life — Pat Conroy

Words Fail MePatricia T. O’Connor

Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style — Virginia Tufte

The Artist’s Way — Julia Cameron

The Right to Write — Julia Cameron

Letters to a Young Poet — Rainer Maria Rilke

The Art of Poetry Writing: A Guide for Poets, Students and Readers — William Packard

Bird by Bird — Anne Lamott

Nine Gates, Entering the Mind of Poetry — Jane Hirschfield

On Writing Well — William Zinsser

On Becoming a Novelist — John Gardner

Turning the Wheel: Essays on Buddhism and Writing — Charles Johnson

The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers — John Gardner

Elements of Style — Strunk & Strunk

Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student — Corbett & Connors


Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience. (Henry David Thoreau)

When I’m writing, I know I’m doing the thing I was born to do. (Anne Sexton)

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

Poets need not go to Niagara to write about the force of falling water. (Robert Frost)

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write. (Stephen King)

…if you run regularly, you train your mind to cut through or ignore your resistance. You just do it. And in the middle of the run, you love it. When you come to the end, you never want to stop. And  you stop, hungry for the next time. That’s how writing is, too.  (Natalie Goldberg)

All great achievements require time. ( Maya Angelou)

This writing business. Pencils and what-not. Overrated, if you ask me. (Winnie the Pooh)

Reading is a dialog with oneself; it is self-reflection, which cultivates profound humanity. Reading is therefore essential to our development. It expands and enriches the personality like a seed that germinates after a long time and sends forth many blossom-laden branches.

People who can say of a book, “this changed my life” truly understand the meaning of happiness. Reading that sparks inner revolution is desperately needed to escape drowning in the rapidly advancing information society. Reading is more than intellectual ornamentation; it is a battle for the establishment for the self, a ceaseless challenge that keeps us young and vigorous. (Daisaku Ikeda)

There is nothing more impressive to me than a writer who isn’t afraid to junk some material in favor of  a fresh start, or who can really crack open a piece instead of just moving the mashed potatoes around the plate.  (Betsy Lerner)

We rarely hear the inward music, but we’re all dancing to it nevertheless. (Rumi)

Writing is my vacation from living. (Eugene O’Neill)

Life is painful. It has thorns, like the stem of a rose. Culture and art are the roses that bloom on the stem. The flower is yourself, your humanity. Art is the liberation of the humanity inside yourself. (Daisaku Ikeda)

Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.  (Hafiz)

All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness. (EckhartTolle)

There’s no retirement for an artist, it’s your way of living so there’s no end to it. (Henry Moore) 

One response to “Books as Mentors — Quotations to Ponder

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