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5 Ernest Hemingway Quotes and How they have Influenced my Writing

It’s fun to read the work of the greats because you enter into their thought process and see things from their own perspective.

That’s all writing is — showing the next person things from your perspective. My interest in Hemingway grew gradually when I saw his books and some of his quotes.

I started reading them religiously, and here I am, giving a bunch of Hemingway’s quotes that have inspired me.

It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way

Ernest Hemingway

I used to think I was a natural. But as I started writing professionally, and I saw how below par my writing was, I started to work on my writing. I had to learn the difference between Active and Passive Voice, Paragraphing, the proper use of punctuation marks, etc.

I still struggle with many things but some clients think I’m a natural at writing. I just smile because if they could see how much I didn’t know, they would rethink the praise.

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”

Ernest Hemingway

Before I started writing here, I would read some posts and be amazed at how well people wrote. I believed that these people where at the apex of writing and they had mastered the art.

As time passed and people started to think I was so good at writing that I didn’t need any improvement, I got to see how false it was.

Because I was, and still am trying to improve. The thought of anyone thinking I had become so good made me see that there’s really no one above improving their craft.

You never get a stage where you are sure that you don’t need to learn how to write anymore.

We all have room for improvement.

The false impression you get of people because you think they have mastered the craft, compared to you, is wrong. It’s the main reason why people never get started. They think they can’t become as good as the people already doing it.

See it as a competition with your previous self and not with others. No one can be awarded as the best writer.

My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way

Ernest Hemingway

This point is important for everyone. New writers or people who try to write for the first time always get it wrong because they want to sound a writer.

There’s this belief people have about writing, that you have to sound a certain way to look like a writer. They use sophisticated words and shy away from using simple words.

My question is, Do you talk like that on a normal day? If that’s not how you talk, why should you write like that?

Good writing is good conversation, only more so

Yes, maybe Shakespeare wrote like that but it’s probably because they used to talk that way.

I’ve gotten this advice from many places and when I saw this one, it backed up what I thought.

Nobody would keep on reading your content if they don’t understand. Writing is communication and communication is based on understanding.

The first draft of anything is shit

Ernest Hemingway

I learned this the hard way. At times, I would write straight into the midnight swearing that I must turn in a client’s work before I sleep.

When I’m done waiting, and with my eyes heavy, I’ll edit and submit to the client. It worked well until the revisions and complaints started coming in.

I’ll go back to the thing I wrote and it would be like something a 6-year old wrote.

Whatever you do, make sure you give yourself some hours before you proofread your work. Because when you write, and you start to proofread immediately, you wouldn’t notice some errors because you were the one that wrote it and you were probably tired.

What I do before I submit any work is, I give it a day. If I finish writing in the afternoon or night, I’ll come back in the morning when I’m completely rested and proofread.

When people talk, listen completely, Most people never listen

Ernest Hemingway

This skill is an extra package that comes with writing — The ability to listen. To write you have to listen. You not only listen to people, but you also listen to your mind, your environment, situations, etc.

This is the only way to come up with things to write — through what you observe.

There’s a lot of things to write about, but to get access to those things you have to listen.


We all have to own our journey as writers and understand that the improvement doesn’t go away.

Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it

— Ernest Hemingway

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