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21 Quotes from Women Writers That’ll Inspire You to Write

Want to write a book but doubting whether you should or could? Glean some inspiration from these quotes on writing from 21 of the world's bravest women writers

inspiration from women writers

Committing to writing a book can be a terrifying first step. And after that, the path doesn’t always get easier to walk. 

Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, the process can be frustrating, intimidating and downright difficult. 

There will be times that you wonder just why you signed up for this and how the heck you’ll ever finish. 

And yet, you’re not alone. 

So many women writers have been where you are. And still they managed to create wonderful works of art that revealed their voice and sometimes even changed the world.

If at this moment, you’re struggling in any phase of your writing, hopefully the below quotes from these wonderful women writers will comfort, console and inspire you to write. 

“A word after a word after a word is power.”

Margaret Atwood

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”

Joan Didion

“To write something you have to risk making a fool of yourself” 

Anne Rice

“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.”

—Gloria Steinem

Every word a woman writes changes the story of the world, revises the official version.”

Carolyn See

“Writing is really a way of thinking — not just feeling but thinking about things that are disparate, unresolved, mysterious, problematic or just sweet.”

—Toni Morrison

“Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.”

—Ann Patchett

“Writers are not here to conform. We are here to challenge. We’re not here to be comfortable—we’re here, really, to shake things up. That’s our job.”

—Jeanette Winterson

Write what should not be forgotten.”

—Isabel Allende

“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”

—Agatha Christie

“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.” 


― Virginia Woolf

“Perhaps it is just as well to be rash and foolish for a while. If writers were too wise, perhaps no books would get written at all. It might be better to ask yourself ‘Why?’ afterward than before. Anyway, the force of somewhere in space which commands you to write in the first place, gives you no choice. You take up the pen when you are told, and write what is commanded.”

—Zora Neale Hurston

“Create dangerously, for people who read dangerously. … [Write] knowing in part that no matter how trivial your words may seem, someday, somewhere, someone may risk his or her life to read them.”

—Edwidge Danticat

“Write about the emotions you fear the most.”

—Laurie Halse Anderson

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

—Anaïs Nin

“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

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”

—Octavia E. Butler

“You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page.”

—Annie Proulx

“It didn’t occur to me that my books would be widely read at all, and that enabled me to write anything I wanted to. And even once I realized that they were being read, I still wrote as if I were writing in secret. That’s how one has to write anyway — in secret.”

—Louise Erdrich

 “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

—Maya Angelou

“Wherever you go, you meet part of your story” 

– Eudora Welty

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