To kick off the last week of Women’s History Month, we’ve compiled a list of quotes about writing from women writers. Everyone has something worth saying, and writing is a powerful way to spread that voice and create a space for others to have a voice.

Portrait of Maya Angelou with quote

“Cram your head with characters and stories. Abuse your library privileges. Never stop looking at the world, and never stop reading to find out what sense other people have made of it. If people give you a hard time and tell you to get your nose out of a book, tell them you’re working. Tell them it’s research. Tell them to pipe down and leave you alone.” -Jennifer Weiner

“Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.” -Meg Cabot

“Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.” -Anne Sexton

“No black woman writer in this culture can write ‘too much.’ Indeed, no woman writer can write ‘too much’…No woman has ever written enough.” -bell hooks

“Write what should not be forgotten.” -Isabel Allende

“Writing can be a lifeline, especially when your existence has been denied, especially when you have been left on the margins, especially when your life and process of growth have been subjected to attempts at strangulation.” -Micere Githae Mugo

“Being a writer means taking the leap from listening to saying, ‘Listen to me.’” -Jhumpa Lahiri

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

“A word after a word after a word is power.” -Margaret Atwood

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” -Alice Walker

“Poems come out of wonder, not out of knowing.” -Lucille Clifton

Ntozake Shange portrait with quote

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” -Ayn Rand

“Writers don’t write from experience, although many are hesitant to admit that they don’t…If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.” -Nikki Giovanni

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” -J.K. Rowling

“Above all, be the heroine of your own life.” -Nora Ephron