14 Quotes on Writing By U.S. Latinx and Latin American Authors

Writing well is hard—that’s a fact that many writers, even some of the most successful, know all too well. The writing process differs from writer to writer, and obviously so do the results.

People fall in love with writing all the time; it’s not uncommon to meet someone who says they’re working on a book. Writing is meaningful  in a lot of ways, and it’s special when it clearly involves the heart. The quotes of published authors often serve as advice for readers and aspiring writers.

If you’re looking for insight from authors who have been there, done that, consider the following quotes by Latinx and Latin American writers. Veteran voices like Sandra Cisneros and Julia Alvarez are included along with newer talent like Valeria Luiselli and Elizabeth Acevedo.

14 Quotes on Writing by Latinx and Latin American Authors

  1. “When you are concerned about your listener or reader, that’s when you get writer’s block.” —Sandra Cisneros
  2.  “Writing is what I do. It is my life.” —Mario Vargas Llosa
  3. “It’s so important for me, finding the precise word that will create a feeling or describe a situation. I’m very picky about that because it’s the only material we have: words. But they are free. No matter how many syllables they have: free! You can use as many as you want, forever.” —Isabel Allende
  4. “Everything I write comes through the lens of a Puerto Rican, Bronx-native, and Latinx woman.” —Lilliam Rivera
  5. “Writing is what makes me feel the most connected to the world. It’s an act of survival, because if I don’t do it, I literally feel like I’m going to die. That’s not exaggeration. It’s freeing in the sense that I’m able to take suffering and transform it into something beautiful. That’s the goal, at least. Though I do love the act of writing, it is definitely work.” —Erika L. Sánchez 
  6. “I never let anyone see my work until after it’s done—well, except my editors. I’m very guarded that way. I’ve had to learn to be my own editor—and that’s the way it should be.” —Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  7. “Writing is a lot like prayer in that you’re in conversation with the universe. Prayer is also listening, not always asking for something. Sometimes it’s just saying, ‘Thank you.’ That’s the most powerful prayer I know, just to be grateful on a daily basis.” —Daniel José Older
  8. “The writer is always researching, paying attention, learning things about people, about experience. All that comes to bear on what you write.” —Julia Alvarez
  9. “Words arranged in the right order produce an afterglow.” —Valeria Luiselli
  10.  “Writing is a struggle against silence.” —Carlos Fuentes
  11. “Writing is [like] making a table. With both you are working with reality, a material just as hard as wood. Both are full of tricks and techniques. Basically very little magic and a lot of hard work are involved…What is a privilege, however, is to do a job to your satisfaction.” —Gabriel García Márquez
  12. “I do believe writing is thinking. Sometimes we can’t untangle what’s happening in our brains, but we get our pen moving and all of a sudden, as we write, we figure it out.” —Elizabeth Acevedo
  13. “When you write books, you meet challenges. I saw so many writers paralyzed by failure, but also by success. They wrote one successful book, and then they stopped writing. I continue to write because I’m enthusiastic about my work.” —Paulo Coelho
  14. “I’ve been writing most of my life. My mom was a teacher, so I learned how to read and write very early. Throughout high school I was a performance poet, and then I started writing short stories. I wasn’t ever sure that I could make writing a career, but I always knew it was a passion and something that I always wanted to do no matter what. It was really with the publication of Juliet Takes a Breath that I realized, ‘Hey, I can call myself a writer in real life now.'” —Gabby Rivera