Whenever I check out Twitter or Facebook I'm bound to come across a host of inspirational quotes about saving the planet, becoming a better person, the good old days–whatever subject you can think of. I confess to scrolling past most of them, but I can never resist the ones connected with writing. Here are some of my favourites, found in all sorts of places from social media and the back notes on novels to how-to websites and radio interviews.

"To hold a pen is to be at war." Voltaire

A freelance writer is "Someone who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps." Robert Benchley 

"Research is such an ongoing thing... I have to actually write the story to find out how much I don't know." Susan Howatch

"... you never figure out how to write novels. The best you can hope for is that you figure out how to write the novel you're on." Gene Wolfe

"Horror and fantasy are often seen as adolescent roadhouses on the way to more sophisticated forms of entertainment." Christopher Fowler

"The greatest interactive device ever invented is a book." Stan Nicholls

"People are always asking me what my lyrics mean. Well, I say what any decent poet would say if you dared ask him to analyse his work. If you see it, darling, it's there." Freddie Mercury

"Nobody ever had such pains to learn a trade as I had; but I slogged at it, day in, day out; and I frankly believe (thanks to my dire industry) I have done more with smaller gifts than almost any men of letters in the world." Robert Louis Stevenson

"A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity." Franz Kafka

"It's hard to persuade people that you are actually writing when you are lying down there on the sofa, you are not wasting time. You have to mull things over. All the possibilities and all the different inputs and influences and ideas are mulling around in a sort of soupy thing in your head and you don't want them to come out too soon because they would be badly assembled or immature or not ready." Philip Pullman

If I can add one of my own, it's this: writing can be a solitary way of life. Reading the thoughts of other writers makes you realise that you are not alone. There are people out there who understand what a struggle it can be.