12 Quotes on the Craft and Business of Writing From the 2019 Writer’s Digest Annual Conference

Here are 12 quotes on the craft and business of writing from agents, editors, and authors at the 2019 Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York City. These quotes cover the creation process, revision, following up with agents, and more.


Last night, I returned home from the annual Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City, which was (per usual) an incredible mix of advice on craft and business topics for writers, including the ever popular Pitch Slam. This year, I came prepared to collect my favorite quotes of the conference, including quotes shared on social media.

(Missed the annual conference? Check out the 2019 Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference.)

In fact, I didn’t even make it out of my neighborhood before the super sweet Lyft driver who transported me to the Atlanta airport exclaimed, “I’ve got a book idea,” upon learning that I was an editor. Writers are everywhere!

Here are 12 quotes on the craft and business of writing from the actual conference. If you attended, be sure to share your favorites in the comments below.


12 quotes on the craft and business of writing

“It’s better to be done than for it to be done perfectly.” —Amy Collins

“Let anything happen! Be messy! Be wild!” —Windy Lynn Harris

“There is just one rule: Keep your readers reading.” —Paula Munier

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“Everybody has a dark secret, and secrets define our characters.” —Karin Slaughter

(Click here to read an excerpt of Karin Slaughter’s interview featured in our September 2019 issue.)

“You might not know your character’s flaw until you finish that first draft.” —Jordan Rosenfeld

“Two voices battle for control in every writer’s head: Your internal editor is on your side, making you better. Your internal critic is against you and needs to be quieted.” —Jane Cleland

“No never means no. It means revise and edit, then try again.” —Susan Shapiro

“I feel like showing someone your writing is kind of like taking off your clothes.” —Min Jin Lee

“Librarians are your secret weapon.” —Janet Reid

“Romance writers are innovators.” —Kilby Blades

“Don’t be kind of stalker crazy.” —Jeanne Bowerman

“You should be working on another book the instant you sell the first one.” —N.K. Jemisin

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