12 Herman Melville Quotes for Writers and About Writing

Here are 12 Herman Melville quotes for writers and about writing from the author of Moby-Dick, Billy Budd, and Typee. In these quotes, Melville covers books, humanity, and more.
Author:
Publish date:

Here are 12 Herman Melville quotes for writers and about writing from the author of Moby-Dick, Billy Budd, and Typee. In these quotes, Melville covers books, humanity, and more.

 Herman Melville

Herman Melville

In addition to writing the classic novel Moby-Dick as well as other books, stories, and poems, Melville was also a sailor, lecturer, and customs inspector during his life. He also built a friendship with American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne while Melville was working on his masterpiece and Hawthorne was working on The House of the Seven Gables.

(Click here for 4 reasons to write books based on classic literature.)

While Melville experienced some early success and notoriety early in his writing career, he only earned a little over $10,000 for his writing, which was not a huge sum even in those times. However, his writing received a revival around the 100th anniversary of his birth. Around the end of the 20th century, his poetry started to gain momentum as well.

Here are 12 Herman Melville quotes for writers and about writing.

12 Herman Melville quotes for writers and about writing

"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation."

Image placeholder title

"I try all things, I achieve what I can."

Image placeholder title

"Youth is the time when hearts are large."

Image placeholder title

*****

Write Better Novels!

Image placeholder title

Push yourself beyond your comfort zone and take your writing to new heights with this Advanced Novel Writing workshop meant for novelists who are looking for book editing and specific feedback on their work. When you take this online workshop, you won't have weekly reading assignments or lectures. Instead, you'll get to focus solely on completing your novel.

While it is possible to write a novel in a month, in this workshop you'll spend 15 weeks writing yours—all the while gaining valuable feedback and getting the encouragement you need in order to finish writing your novel. You'll also learn specific tips for outlining and how not to write a novel. One thing is for certain though—by the end of this online workshop, you will have the tools and know-how to write a great novel.

Click to continue.

*****

"Genius is full of trash."

Image placeholder title

"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme."

Image placeholder title

"I would prefer not to."

Image placeholder title

"I have written a wicked book, and feel spotless as the lamb."

Image placeholder title

"A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things."

Image placeholder title

"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed."

Image placeholder title

"Beneath those stars is a universe of gliding monsters."

Image placeholder title

"A smile is the chosen vehicle of all ambiguities."

Image placeholder title

"No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses."

Image placeholder title
writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: #StartWrite, Virtual Conference, and New Courses

This week, we’re excited to announce free resources to start your writing year off well, our Novel Writing Virtual Conference, and more!

20_most_popular_writing_posts_of_2020_robert_lee_brewer

20 Most Popular Writing Posts of 2020

We share a lot of writing-related posts throughout the year on the Writer's Digest website. In this post, we've collected the 20 most popular writing posts of 2020.

Malden_1:16

Carla Malden: Writing With Optimism and Innocence

Screenwriter and author Carla Malden explains why young adult fiction and the '60s go hand-in-hand and how she connected with her main character's voice.

writing_mistakes_writers_make_talking_about_the_work_in_progress_robert_lee_brewer

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Talking About the Work-in-Progress

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake writers make is talking about the work-in-progress.

Kelly_1:15

Greta K. Kelly: Publishing Is a Marathon

Debut author Greta K. Kelly reveals how the idea for her novel sparked and the biggest surprise of her publication journey.

Poetic Forms

Mistress Bradstreet Stanza: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the Mistress Bradstreet stanza, an invented form of John Berryman.

capital_vs_capitol_grammar_rules_robert_lee_brewer

Capital vs. Capitol (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use capital vs. capitol with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Dulan_1:14

On Writing to Give Grief Meaning and Write Out of Challenging Situations

Author Lily Dulan explains why writers have to be willing to go to difficult places inside themselves for their writing to make a positive impact on ourselves, others, and the world.

Brandt_1:14

Gerald Brandt: Toeing the Line Between Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Science fiction author Gerald Brandt explains how this new series explores the genre boundary and how he came to find his newest book's focus.