Writing can be a lonely process when you’re a first-time author, before you’ve developed a network of mentors and peers who can guide you and support you along the sometimes choppy waters of nonfiction writing.
The following 21 quotes from established writers and luminaries of both the nonfiction and fiction worlds will offer you sound advice, give a boost to your motivation and present you with a gem of wisdom or two.
21 Inspiring Quotes for a First-Time Nonfiction Writer:
“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”
“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”
“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.”
“Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.”
“Half my life is an act of revision.”
“As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.”
“I write to discover what I know.”
“I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
“Writing nonfiction means I tell people’s stories for them, not because they’re special but because we all are.”
“I still believe nonfiction is the most important literature to come out of the second half of the 20th century.”
“Great brands and great businesses have to be great storytellers, too. We have to tell stories – emotive, compelling stories – and even more so because we’re nonfiction.”
“There is no longer any such thing as fiction or nonfiction; there’s only narrative.”
E. L. Doctorow
“I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.”
“Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing.”
“Ironically, in today’s marketplace successful nonfiction has to be unbelievable, while successful fiction must be believable.”
Jerry B. Jenkins
“One of underestimated tasks in nonfiction writing is to impose narrative shape on an unwieldy mass of material.”
The challenge of nonfiction is to marry art and truth.”
“When you deal with nonfiction you deal with human characters.”
“Every successful piece of nonfiction should leave the reader with one provocative thought that he or she didn’t have before. Not two thoughts, or five – just one. So decide what single point you want to leave in the reader’s mind.”
“With nonfiction, I go in trying to be really honest about what my preconceptions are.”
“Write a nonfiction book, and be prepared for the legion of readers who are going to doubt your fact. But write a novel, and get ready for the world to assume every word is true.”
If you enjoyed this article and are in the process of writing a nonfiction book, be sure to check out my free nonfiction success guide, drawn from years of experience editing books for bestselling authors (including a New York Times bestseller) and ghostwriting for CEOs and politicians. Simply click here and get instant access.
Best of luck with your writing project!
Leave me a comment below if you have any questions or a specific need that I can help you address – I operate an author services firm that specializes in helping entrepreneurs, professionals and business owners who want to publish books as a calling card for prospects, to establish their status as an expert or to just to generate additional leads for their businesses.
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Bennett R. Coles is an award-winning author of six books published through Harper Collins (New York) and Titan Publishing Group (London). He is also the publisher at Promontory Press, editor for multiple bestselling authors (including a NY Times bestseller), ghostwriter for CEOs and politicians and the founder of Cascadia Author Services, a boutique full-service firm that specializes in premium author services specifically designed for busy professionals. Our end-to-end services include writer coaching, ghostwriting, editing, proofing, cover design, book layout, eBook production, marketing, printing and distribution.