35 Best Author Quotes of All Time

As a writer, you have a love for the English language and the way other writers play with words, molding them into beautiful and inspirational phrases or descriptions that you can't get out of your head. 

Some words stick with you, even for years. 

I know I enjoy a good quote, and meaningful author quotes have a way of giving me a boost. Whether writer's block has kicked in or I'm feeling a bit of imposter syndrome (which is real for all writers and most creative types in general), the best quotes stand out and work their way into my life. 

If you've ever kept a commonplace book, you know all about how you can copy down your favorite quotes from famous authors to use as inspiration later. They carry many other benefits as well, as I've learned first hand. 

I started my first real adult commonplace book in college. My favorite professor (from any course I took at any university) made it a class requirement one semester, and I loved it so much that I never fell out of the habit.

The class was Women & Rhetoric and our commonplace books could envelop any quote that stood out to us, anything we found inspirational. All that was required was to have your commonplace book mostly filled by the end of the semester, the contents were personalized to each student. 

Some of the following quotes come from my commonplace book in a section I've dubbed "meaningful author quotes."These are the words of wisdom I turn to when I need motivation or just need someone more successful than myself to give me a slight push.

I use them when I feel my motivation dwindling or look over them when I'm feeling bored to keep a well of inspiration ever-flowing. And I hope they help you too. 

The authors quoted below are my favorite writers and some of my favorite quotes that move me. Without further ado, here are the 35 best author quotes of all time:

 

1. "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Maya Angelou

meaningful author quote

2. "And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

3. "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." - Anne Frank

4. "Get busy living or get busy dying." - Stephen King

5. "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

meaningful author quote

6. "Imitation is suicide." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

7. "This above all to thine own self be true." - William Shakespeare 

8. "Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs." - Charlotte Bronte

9. "She has waited all her life for something and it has killed her when it found her." - Zora Neale Hurston 

10. "Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing." - Oscar Wilde

meaningful author quote

11. "Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change." - Mary Shelley

12. "It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you." - Roald Dahl

13. "Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right." - Angie Thomas

14. "There are darknesses in life and there are light, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights." - Bram Stroker

15. "But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." - J.K. Rowling

meaningful author quote

16. "You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit the weighs you down." -Toni Morrison

17. "Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you." - George R.R. Martin

18. "The truth is not for all men, but only for those who seek it." - Ayn Rand

19. "As a writer, you should not judge. You should understand." - Ernest Hemingway

20. "Everything is hard before it is easy." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

meaningful quotes

21. "Don't let your happiness depend on something you may lose." - C.S. Lewis

22. "It's so hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace." - Chuck Palahniuk 

23. "I want to taste and glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience." - Sylvia Plath

24. "As you start to walk on the way, the way appears." -Rumi

25. "Trust your heart if the seas catch fire, live by love though the stars walk backward." - E.E. Cummings 

meaningful quotes

26. "Straight roads do not make skillful drivers." - Paula Coelho

27. "I've got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen." - Louisa May Alcott

28. "Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use." - Mark Twain

29. "Half my life is an act of revision." - John Irving

30. "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you." - Anne Lamott

meaningful quotes

31. "If a thing loves, it is infinite." - William Blake

32. "Failure is a condiment that gives success its flavor." - Truman Capote

33. "There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." - Edith Wharton

34. "Writers live twice." - Natalie Goldberg

35. "I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right." - Markus Zusak

meaningful quote from famous authors

 

What are your favorite author quotes? Share your top picks with me in the comments below.