Top writing advice - man writing at old fashioned typewriter with a cup of coffee

Need some top writing advice from the people that have experienced it all?

Even the Best in the Business have got it wrong sometimes. And it takes a LOT of first, second, and twenty-third drafts to create something incredible.

To inspire you in time for the weekend, here is some top writing advice from famous authors about writing.


“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 


“Always carry a note-book. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.”

Will Self


“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


“Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.”

Zadie Smith


“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with 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.” (Okay, not so much advice as a moment of realisation).

George Orwell


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

Toni Morrison


“Work on a computer that is disconnected from the internet.”

Zadie Smith (She’s so great, I’ve quoted her twice).


“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time — or the tools — to write. Simple as that.”

Stephen King


“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

Robert Frost


“Read it aloud to yourself because that’s the only way to be sure the rhythms of the sentences are OK (prose rhythms are too complex and subtle to be thought out—they can be got right only by ear).”

Diana Athill


“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.”

Kurt Vonnegut


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

Anton Chekov (This “don’t tell me, show me” idea is classic and should help you if you ever feel you can’t get meaning/description across)


“To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, although many there be that have tried it.”

Herman Melville


This top writing advice from top authors should give you plenty of inspiration to get writing.

Looking for more reading material? Visit Dream of Home for book reviews and more!

Top Writing Advice from the Best in the Business
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