inspirational freelance writing quotesThe freelance writer life can be hard sometimes.

You have days when you may ask yourself…

“What have I done?”
“Why did I give up that job with vacation days, sick days and health benefits?”
“How will I make rent next month, let alone pay for groceries?”

Believe me, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there, and even I struggle with these questions from time to time – and I’ve been at it for years!

It’s totally normal. But you can’t let it get to you.

You can and you will be a successful freelance writer – one who earns enough and then some, who can afford to take time off, and has a work-life balance most would dream of. You just have to keep at it.

To help you get over that hump and help you stay strong, I’ve put together some of my favorite freelance writing quotes – 100 of them to be exact.

Whenever you feel stressed, anxious or worried, take a look at these freelance writing quotes. Print them out and keep them at your desk. They will keep you motivated, inspired and empowered!

1. “Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.” –Hunter S. Thompson

2. “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” –Ernest Hemingway

3. “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” –Larry L. King

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5. “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” –Thomas Mann

6. “Keep a small can of WD-40 on your desk—away from any open flames—to remind yourself that if you don’t write daily, you will get rusty.” –George Singleton

7. “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” –Philip Pullman

8. “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

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10. “Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living.” –Enid Bagnold

11. Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.” –Neil Gaiman

12. “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” –Virginia Woolf

13. “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” –Robert Frost

14. “If you dig deep and keep peeling the onion, artists and freelance writers are the leaders in society – the people who start to get new ideas out.” –Allan Savory

15. “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” –Richard Bach

16. “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” –Kurt Vonnegut

17. “I always start writing with a clean piece of paper and a dirty mind.” –Patrick Dennis

18. “Tears are words that need to be written.” –Paulo Coelho

19. “This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy and that hard.” –Neil Gaiman

20. “For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.” –Catherine Drinker Bowen

21. “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

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

23. “To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” –Allen Ginsberg

24. “A word after a word after a word is power.” –Margaret Atwood

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26. “Know your literary tradition, savor it, steal from it, but when you sit down to write, forget about worshiping greatness and fetishizing masterpieces.” –Allegra Goodman

27. “If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.” –Kingsley Amis

28. “I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.” –Tom Clancy

29. Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” –E.L. Doctorow

30. “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” –Ray Bradbury

31. “You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” –Saul Bellow

32. “Anyone who is going to be a writer knows enough at 15 to write several novels.” –May Sarton

33. Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; it’s work. … Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything.” –Stephen King

34. “Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” –William Faulkner

35. “Anybody who is in freelance work, especially artistically, knows that it comes with all the insecurity and the ups and downs. It’s a really frightening life.” –Alessandro Nivola

36. “Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got.” –Philip Jose Farmer

37. “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” –Anne Frank

38. “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” –Stephen King

39. “Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood—you will either write or you will not—and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try.” –Jim Tully

40. “You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.” –Annie Proulx

41. “You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” –Ray Bradbury

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43. “You can make anything by writing.” –C.S. Lewis

44. “Style means the right word. The rest matters little.” –Jules Renard

45. “Get the facts first. You can distort them later.” –Mark Twain

46. “I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.” –William Carlos Williams

47. “We’re past the age of heroes and hero kings. … Most of our lives are basically mundane and dull, and it’s up to the writer to find ways to make them interesting.” –John Updike

48. “There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.” –Beatrix Potter

49. “Cheat your landlord if you can and must, but do not try to shortchange the Muse. It cannot be done. You can’t fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.” –Williams S. Burroughs

50. “The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.” –Philip Roth

51. “If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” –Anais Nin

52. “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” –Stephen King

53. “All stories have to at least try to explain some small portion of the meaning of life. You can do that in 20 minutes, and 15 inches.” –Gene Weingarten

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55. “The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.” –Joyce Carol Oates

56. “Don’t expect the puppets of your mind to become the people of your story. If they are not realities in your own mind, there is no mysterious alchemy in ink and paper that will turn wooden figures into flesh and blood.” –Leslie Gordon Barnard

57. “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” –Anton Chekhov

58. “If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.” –Peter Handke

59. “It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.” –Jack Kerouac

60. “The secret of good writing is to say an old thing in a new way or to say a new thing in an old way.” –Richard Harding Davis

61. “You do not have to explain every single drop of water contained in a rain barrel. You have to explain one drop—H2O. The reader will get it.” –George Singleton

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63. “I always feel like freelance writers are leading a heroic life. I think that is the real writer’s life.” –Tom Paulin

64. “Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.” –Neil Gaiman

65. “The life of the professional writer – like that of any freelancer, whether she be a plumber or a podiatrist – is predicated on willpower. Without it there simply wouldn’t be any remuneration, period.” –Will Self

66. “Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” –Virginia Woolf

67. “The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes.” –Andre Gide

68. “When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.” –Stephen King

69. “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” –J.D. Salinger

70. “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” –Mark Twain

71. “The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out.” –Stephen King

72. “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” -Ray Bradbury

73. “You don’t actually have to write anything until you’ve thought it out. This is an enormous relief, and you can sit there searching for the point at which the story becomes a toboggan and starts to slide.” –Marie de Nervaud

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75. “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” –Anais Nin

76. “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” –George Orwell

77. “Write what you know. That should leave you with a lot of free time.” –Howard Nemerov

78. “Always be a poet, even in prose.” –Charles Baudelaire

79. “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

80. “The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.” –Tom Clancy

81. “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” –Harper Lee

82. “Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences.” –Sylvia Plath

83. “I’m out there to clean the plate. Once they’ve read what I’ve written on a subject, I want them to think, ‘That’s it!’ I think the highest aspiration people in our trade can have is that once they’ve written a story, nobody will ever try it again.” –Richard Ben Cramer

84. “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” –William Wordsworth

85. “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” –Elmore Leonard

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87. “One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.” –Lawrence Block

88. “The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.” –Anais Nin

89. “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” –Ernest Hemingway

90. “I almost always urge people to write in the first person. Writing is an act of ego and you might as well admit it.” –William Zinser

91. “The large print giveth, but the small print taketh away.” –Tom Waits

92. Genius gives birth, talent delivers. What Rembrandt or Van Gogh saw in the night can never be seen again. Born writers of the future are amazed already at what they’re seeing now, what we’ll all see in time for the first time, and then see imitated many times by made writers.” –Jack Kerouac

93. “Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.” –Meg Cabot

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95. “I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me” -Ray Bradbury

96. “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” –E.L. Doctorow

97. “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.” –Henry David Thoreau

98. “Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.” –Neil Gaiman

99. “The only really committed artist is he who, without refusing to take part in the combat, at least refuses to join the regular armies and remains a freelance.” –Albert Camus

100. “The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.” –William H. Gass

Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or you find yourself questioning your career choices, turn to these words and let them inspire you and calm your nerves. They’ve done it for me hundreds of times, and I’m sure they’ll do it again in the future!

Did I forget one of your favorite freelance writing quotes? Have one to add to the list? Let me know in the comments.

ATT FREELANCE WRITERS:
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Maggie

Maggie Linders is the author of "Freelance Writing Riches," an income-boosting blueprint for freelance writers. She is also the creator of the popular "Freelance Profit Academy," an information-packed, coaching-focused membership program that teaches freelance writers how to start, build and maintain full-time, high-earning freelance writing careers.

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