7 great American writers on writing


Ernest Hemingway once said “All American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.” As much as we love our Ernest, we beg to differ. It’s not just the amazing books Americans have written, which cause us to contradict Papa’s viewpoint. It’s the words of wisdom these masters have shared about their craft.

John Steinbeck

Ernest Hemingway

Elmore Leonard

Toni Morrison

Stephen King

Henry Miller

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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53 replies

  1. If you can write a poetry,book,etc. You can writing about anything if you set your mind to it.

  2. I had been feeling a lack of inspiration in my writing lately, and with this post I can feel it coming back. So wonderful.

    • It seems there are two kinds of writer ….
      Why is it views on punctuation tend to the extremes? Certainly, too many exclamation points over-salts the egg, but do we have to apply Shari’a law to the poor thing?

    • I was born the same day of the calender that Ernest was. I always for that reason revered him. I believe in the Stars. I’ve always said; When I grow up, I’m going to be a writer however, first I have to grow up. I’m only 73 so far and can’t see the end of the stretch. It’s a long bumpy road and the smooth parts are worrisome. I’m torn between painting/drawing and writing. I see them as being all the same form of expression. Unfortunately, I have no education. I was raised in a residential school. All I know is religion and other non grounded philosophic trash. I sincerely believe that this is my pen/brush to success. “Vive la difference”.

      • Robert – you have a soul mate out here, and it’s me. I too paint, draw, write – and teach English to young adults in Mexico. I’m retiring from that soon, and I plan to more of the other stuff. I had a good run years ago as a full-time artist and that taught me to guard my sanity; it tends to slip away the more time you devote to the muse – that jealous bitch.

  3. Hemingway was right. Huckleberry Finn was pretty much it in his time. Excuse me but some of the writers here are not great literature. Maybe you should calm down for a couple of decades.

  4. I don’t know if I have it in me to kill all my darlings. But, I’ll try.

    Love those quotes. Beautiful and some self-depreciating in just the right manner.

    I do love the quote about the exclamation mark. Use them sparingly… and semi-colons. Cheers

  5. First kill your darlings (yes, per Faulkner. I’m sure Stephen King knows this, as does every writer. Attribution not required.). Then, pick out a spare few and perform CPR on them.

    • I miss him too, and what a way to go out! Except why in the kitchen, on a Sunday, with a handgun? When his wife was in the other room – and his son too, I think. The quotation I remember is (paraphrased) “It sounded like a large book dropping flat on the floor.” Being shot out of a cannon though, that was classic.


  7. Great quotes all. Wonderful pictures as well, hadn’t seen some of those shots before. Really well done, bravo, and thank you so much for sharing such little inspirations.

  8. It is nice to see the faces of authors I have always admired – well not all of them, Mr king used to freak me out when I was a teen 🙂 , F. Scott Fitzgerald is my favorite 🙂

  9. I have to agree with Stephen King. As much as it kills me, I’m going to have to kill my darlings….

    Writing is best summed up as hemmingway wrote it; bleeding on the typewriter—the only difference is that I use a keyboard.

  10. John Steinbeck was my great uncle through marriage. My grandfather thought he was insane. I, being a screenwriter, have always obtained great wisdom through his quotes however.

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