Self-expression is for babies and seals, where it can be charming. A writer's business is to affect the reader.
There is but one art, to omit.
A man really writes for an audience of about ten persons. Of course if others like it, that is clear gain. But if those ten are satisfied, he is content.
It is in the hard rockpile labour of seeking to win, hold, or deserve a reader's interest that the pleasant agony of writing comes in.
Write something, even if it's just a suicide note.
Flaubert had infinite correction to perform.
Nature, not content with denying him the ability to think, has endowed him with the ability to write.
Beauty and truth may be attributes of good writing, but if the writer deliberately aims at truth, he is likely to find that what he has hit is the didactic.
When an author is yet living, we estimate his powers by his worst performance; and when he is dead, we rate them by his best.
A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer.
The man who is asked by an author what he thinks of his work is put to the torture and is not obliged to speak the truth.
Style is the hallmark of a temperament stamped upon the material at hand.
Every writer, without exception, is a masochist, a sadist, a peeping Tom, an exhibitionist, a narcissist, an injustice collector and a depressed person constantly haunted by fears of unproductivity.
My novels point out that the world consists entirely of exceptions.
Less is more.
We like that a sentence should read as if its author, had he held a plough instead of a pen, could have drawn a furrow deep and straight to the end.
The reason a writer writes a book is to forget a book and the reason a reader reads one is to remember it.
I work every day - or at least I force myself into office or room. I may get nothing done, but you don't earn bonuses without putting in time. Nothing may come for three months, but you don't earn the fourth without it.
John the Baptist pretending to be Karl Marx.
Every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the'.