Posted in Inspiration & Motivation

16 QUOTES FOR A WRITER’S OBSESSION.

Quotes can do a great many things. One is to make you think. You can think about yesterday, today, or tomorrow. The quote determines what path you take with those thoughts of yours. Which reminds me of this quote:

“I learn from thinking about the future, what hasn’t been done yet. That’s kind of my constant obsession.” John Cale

I like to focus on quotes that impress me about the life of being a writer, even if the original intent wasn’t there, and regardless of who said the words. Okay, maybe I do have a bias at times.

Take this quote as an example:

“Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.” Claude Monet

Obviously Monet was not talking about writing, but substitute the word “words” for “color” and you have my life. I create a new book idea at least once per week. The torment for me is captured with these words:

“I can’t read all the books I want to read, I can’t watch all the phenomena that interest me in the world. The work calls me, and sometimes I wonder whether this is an obsession and I should drop it, or it’s a necessity I’m obliged to fulfill.” James Hillman

The problem is not so much the question of whether or not I have an obsession with words or if they are a necessity. They are both. My problem is this:

“The creative habit is like a drug. The particular obsession changes, but the excitement, the thrill of your creation lasts.” Henry Moore

Some have a more negative view of obsession. I suppose even when channeled toward the arts.

“Obsession is the single most wasteful human activity, because with an obsession you keep coming back and back and back to the same question and never get an answer.” Norman Mailer

You might think Mailer is a great one to pay heed of, but no two people are the same. Perhaps with him, he just didn’t know how to channel obsession or perhaps his obsessions were not as healthy as writing. Writing isn’t only an obsession to me.

“Writing is my obsession, my passion. My relationship with it is one of the most complex and agonizing and richly vexing that I have in my life.” Julianna Baggott

But the truth is,

“The trade of authorship is a violent, and indestructible obsession.” George Sand

“Writing has to be an obsession – it’s only for those who say, ‘I’m not going to do anything else.’” Lorrie Moore

If you think about what a writer does to create a 300 page book, there must be obsession involved. Even those books that turn out not so great are the results of an obsessed mind, a fevered mind devoted to this world inside the imagination.

I can identify with the next quote:

“I’ve been called many names like perfectionist, difficult and obsessive. I think it takes obsession, takes searching for the details for any artist to be good.” Barbra Streisand

Add insane, nuts, crazy, and a few choice words to the list and you pretty much have my name calling in hand.

But you know what?

“What moves those of genius, what inspires their work is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.” Eugene Delacroix

Writing isn’t easy. To finish a sandwich is one thing. Even to finish reading a book is something. But to finish writing a book? How hard is it for you to finish reading a book sometimes, even one you love?

“I need my natural laziness to be counteracted by obsession in order to do anything.” Vikram Seth

I could sleep all day, and watch old movies all night. Yes, I live on an odd time schedule, even though mornings are my most creative times.

But laziness, uncertainty, and all those other things that get in the way just won’t stop a truly obsessed writer.

“You cannot write a book unless it is totally inhabiting your imagination and you are totally engrossed with it. Which is a kind word for obsession.” Kate Forsyth

Another way of saying it is,

“The work is a calling. It demands that type of obsession.” John Pomfret

Art is a unique profession, writing included. We are our own bosses. Some like to say we create fairy tales and make believe worlds. People don’t realize something about writing.

“When you’re working for yourself and your own obsession with finding the truth, you’re at your own mercy.” Errol Morris

You see, if a writer isn’t writing honestly, if they are putting words into the mouth of a character and they don’t ring true, everything falls apart, and they are labeled a terrible writer. Writing is a dangerous profession, a gamble.

But as the saying goes and it is so true,

“I read in order to write. I read out of obsession with writing.” Cynthia Ozick

When it all boils down, I can say this,

“I only have one obsession – not to be boring.” Michel Hazanavicius


You can check out the other Obsession entries  HERE, on SilverThreading.com, Colleen Chesebro’s site, my other half for the Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge. This was her week to come up with the theme.


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Author:

Ronovan Hester is an author, with a debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling now on available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. "5.0 out of 5 stars: Now, I want to warn you… this is not your typical pirate tale! It’s BETTER!" "5.0 out of 5 stars: Totally unpredictable and a real gem of a discovery - Highly Recommended" "5.0 out of 5 stars: An action packed journey to piracy and revenge – all in the name of the crown, queen and county – set in 1705." He shares his life of problems and triumphs through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of writing, authors and community through his online world has led to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge, Weekly Fiction Prompt Challenge, and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

9 thoughts on “16 QUOTES FOR A WRITER’S OBSESSION.

  1. Reblogged this on mira prabhu and commented:
    “Writing is my obsession, my passion. My relationship with it is one of the most complex and agonizing and richly vexing that I have in my life.” Julianna Baggott

    Thank you Ronovan for a terrific post on what is personally a magnificent and healthy obsession….writing has kept me going through some of the darkest times and I don’t think I could ever stop.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks. I didn’t know all these dark things about writers. Never. I like how they explore and write well. Also sometimes you write something, like poetry n such, and when you reread it there’s another meaning you hadn’t thought of. I take that as your inner brain working for you. Ha ha.
    I’d like to write dark but I’m such a Pollyanna, not sure if I could.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, Ronovan. As always I love your vision and take on these themes. I really struggled with the whole idea of writing being our obsession. It was when I realized that the word obsession does not deserve the negative connotation it always seems to get that it all came together for me. I had hoped everyone would think about the meaning and it is clear they have. Your quotes really promote the way I feel about writing. It is a passion. In fact, you have to be obsessed (possessed) in order to write a novel, I’ve decided. I am glad to be in such great company! LOL! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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