Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow
Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain
Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov
If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster. ~Isaac Asimov
A writer and nothing else: a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right. ~John K. Hutchens, New York Herald Tribune, 10 September 1961
Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
~William Safire, "Great Rules of Writing"
Be obscure clearly. ~E.B. White
When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing. ~Enrique Jardiel Poncela
What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he's staring out of the window. ~Burton Rascoe (I dare insert "husband" instead :)
The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes. ~Agatha Christie (so, so true)
How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. ~Henry David Thoreau, Journal, 19 August 1851
Write your first draft with your heart. Re-write with your head. ~From the movie Finding Forrester
Loafing is the most productive part of a writer's life. ~James Norman Hall
The best style is the style you don't notice. ~Somerset Maugham
I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody's head. ~John Updike