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[ Also see Authors Books Criticism Ink Journalism Libraries Literature Occupations Pen Plagiarism Poetry Press Printing Publishing Quotations Reading Shakespeare Style Writing ]

Strength is not energy; some authors have more muscles than talent.
      - Joseph Joubert

Young authors give their brains much exercise and little food.
      - Joseph Joubert

An incurable itch for scribbling takes possession of many, and grows inveterate in their insane breasts.
  [Lat., Tenet insanabile multo
    Scribendi cacoethes, et aegro in corde senescit.]
      - Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal), Satires
         (VII, 51)

A woman who writes, commits two sins: she increases the number of books, and decreases the number of women.
      - Alphonse Kerr

It is quite as much of a trade to make a book as to make a clock. It requires more than mere genius to be an author.
      - Jean de la Bruyere

A man of moderate Understanding, thinks he writes divinely: A man of good Understanding, thinks he writes reasonably.
      - Jean de la Bruyere,
        The Characters or Manners of the Present Age
         (ch. I)

A man starts upon a sudden, takes Pen, Ink, and Paper, and without ever having had a thought of it before, resolves within himself he will write a Book; he has no Talent at Writing, but he wants fifty Guineas.
      - Jean de la Bruyere,
        The Characters or Manners of the Present Age
         (ch. XV)

This is the magnanimity of authorship, when a writer having a topic presented to him, fruitful of beauties for common minds, waives his privilege, and trusts to the judicious few for understanding the reason of his abstinence.
      - Charles Lamb (used pseudonym Elia)

Damn the age; I will write for Antiquity.
      - Charles Lamb (used pseudonym Elia),
        Bon Mots by Charles Lamb and Douglas Jerrold

Clear writers, like clear fountains, do not seem so deep as they are; the turbid looks most profound.
      - Walter Savage Landor

To write much, and to write rapidly, are empty boasts. The world desires to know what you have done, and not how you did it.
      - George Henry Lewes, The Spanish Drama
         (ch. III)

If authors cannot be prevailed upon to keep close to truth and instruction, by unvaried terms, and plain, unsophisticated argument, yet it concerns readers not to be imposed on.
      - John Locke (1)

Authors must not, like Chinese soldiers, expect to win victories by turning somersets in the air.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The motives and purposes of authors are not always so pure and high, as, in the enthusiasm of youth, we sometimes imagine. To many the trumpet of fame is nothing but a tin horn to call them home, like laborers from, the field, at dinner-time, and they think themselves lucky to get the dinner.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

If you once understand an author's character, the comprehension of his writings becomes easy.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hyperion
         (bk. I, ch. V)

Perhaps the greatest lession which the lives of literary men teach us is told in a simgle world: Wait!
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hyperion
         (bk. I, ch. VIII)

Whatever hath been written shall remain,
  Nor be erased nor written o'er again;
    The unwritten only still belongs to thee:
      Take heed, and ponder well what that shall be.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Morituri Salutamus (l. 168)

Look, then, into thine heart and write!
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Voices of the Night (prelude, st. 19)

It may be glorious to write
  Thoughts that shall glad the two or three
    High souls, like those far stars that come in sight
      Once in a century.
      - James Russell Lowell,
        An Incident in a Railroad Car

He that commeth in print because he woulde be knowen, is like the foole that commeth into the Market because he woulde be seen.
      - John Lyly (Lylie or Lyllie),
        The Anatomy of Wit--To the Gentlemen Readers

The memory of other authors is kept alive by their works, but the memory of Johnson keeps many of his works alive.
      - Thomas Babington Macaulay

This is the highest miracle of genius, that things which are not should be as though they were, that the imaginations of one mind should become the personal recollections of another.
      - Thomas Babington Macaulay

You do not publish your own verse, Laelius; you criticise mine. Pray cease to criticise mine, or else publish your own.
      - Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis),
        Epigrams (bk. I, ep. 91)

Jack writes severe lampoons on me, 'tis said--
  But he writes nothing, who is never read.
      - Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis),
        Epigrams (bk. III, ep. 9)

He who writes distichs, wishes, I suppose, to please by brevity. But, tell me, of what avail is their brevity, when there is a whose book full of them?
      - Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis),
        Epigrams (bk. VIII, ep. 29)

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