Fun Writer's Mugs with Famous Quotes About Writing

by Mira

Coffee mugs with famous quotes about writing from the likes of Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and other beloved authors.

If you want to get a present for a writer, try quote mugs. You can use a design from Zazzle or make your own in a couple of minutes with your favorite bon mot.

One way to go about choosing writer's mugs for your friends is to learn which are their favorite authors. That shouldn’t be hard to do because writers do tend to talk about other writers. Then, once you have that info, you can go online and search for quotes by those authors.

Another way to do this is to search for quotes based on theme. The theme doesn’t have to be writing or reading. It can be wine, coffee, or anything else that your friend enjoys.

The following quotes are about writing rather than reading or other activities a writer may engage in and enjoy.

Mug with a Thoreau quote on the price of things

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it”

The quote above is by Henry David Thoreau. It reminds me of another quote, by André Gide, which says, “One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” Thoreau put it less metaphorically, but just as powerfully. Writing is an absorbing occupation, a jealous mistress (apparently Emerson was one of the writers who said that about art in general). You have to give it your time, your energies, your thoughts, and often it keeps you away from the joys of a life shared with other people.

“I dwell in Possibility”

In her “I dwell in Possibility” poem, Emily Dickinson writes,

I dwell in Possibility--
A fairer House than Prose--
More numerous of Windows--
Superior--for Doors--

Of Chambers as the Cedars--
Impregnable of Eye--
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky--

Of Visitors--the fairest--
For Occupation--This--
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise--

I dwell in Possibility Emily Dickinson mug


It’s one of her best-known poems. If your writer friend writes poetry rather than prose, he or she may enjoy this quote. There’s a tension of opposites in this poem that I find fascinating. Poetry creates many doors and windows, and yet, from the exterior, only the “fairest” visitors are allowed. The house of poetry is strong and real as the cedars and yet it’s open to the ethereal sky and “impregnable of eye.” She’s confined to a private space of expression by dint of being a woman and by choice (she was an introvert and a recluse), and yet she doesn’t feel confined because her poetry lets her soar.

"Dwelling in possibility" suggests that we can all find places of creative freedom in lives confined by roles and responsibilities.

G.K. Chesterton mug with quote

“The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man”

This quote by G.K. Chesterton reminds me of scientists like Pierre Simon Laplace who say that they have no use for the God hypothesis. What scientists forget sometimes is that God is not only in the “gaps” we don’t understand but also in the gaps we think we understand. Objective reality can be construed in many different ways; and then there’s the wonderful word of inner, subjective reality, which fascinates the majority of writers.

Writers love to address these “riddles of God,” and the best of them, even as they suggest some “solutions,” will amplify the mystery of existence for their readers, answering some of their questions about human nature and the world we live in while also opening up many others.

"Everyone is dragged on by their favorite pleasure"

I found this quote by Virgil the other day, and I really like the sound of it. I believe that the majority of people need something to pull them through life. For some folks, it’s pleasures like “wine, women, and song.” For others, it’s something they aspire to and work hard to achieve; they may be dragged on by more than just a pleasure or another. But if they are following a vocation like writing, chances are they will enjoy a greater degree of pleasure or joy. All the time? No. Writers may tell you that sometimes they're not in the mood for it, and yet they feel compelled to plow on by an idea they develop, a character they're thinking about, or the prospect of getting paid for their writing. And yet, when they keep working at writing, and get better at it, every once in a while they will get a new spark of inspiration. That is one of the pleasures of writing. There are many other pleasures writers will mention: spending time exploring their ideas and their characters, creating something out of nothing that others will enjoy or benefit from, learning more about the craft of writing as they practice it. So yes, writing is not only about pleasure, but pleasure is a necessary ingredient in writing.

That said, I thought I'd continue with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, which says, "The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."

Mug with a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote on the purpose of life


Mug with a Virgil quote on the power of one's favorite pleasure

Writing is Sanity

The truth is that people write for many reasons: to make a difference, to inspire others, to make art they believe has some worth, to earn money from an occupation that gives them more pleasure and inspires them more than other jobs, to express themselves creatively, to escape in a world they can create themselves, and so on.

A writer's mug with the quote "Writing is Sanity"


Many will say they write to stay sane, either because they need an outlet for their creative energies, or because they want to reinvent themselves every time they create something -- because they want to step into a different world where they can discover themselves through their writing better that they can in their mundane existence. Also because they want to discover people and places of a different place and/or time through their research and imagination; because they use their writing and art as some sort of meditation, giving them clarity of mind and focus on essential things; and so on.

How to Find Inspiration

Just like happiness, inspiration comes not when you wait for it, but when you actively engage your mental and emotional energies in writing or some other work, or, alternatively, when you take an active break from work: reading, meeting people, and so on. Often, it helps to change the scene as well, so heading to the beach, or hiking on flower- or snow-covered, sun-dappled hills, or going away on a mini-vacation is all you need to get your inspiration flowing again.

Mug with a Pablo Picasso quote: "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working"


Mug with the quote "Often, a change if scene is all the inspiration you need"

Updated: 10/18/2020, Mira
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Mira on 02/24/2016

Yes, I also like sayings and quotes. I especially like G.K. Chesterton's words above about the riddles of God :)
Thanks for visiting, Shraddha!

WriterArtist on 02/24/2016

I have always admired witty quotes which are nothing but wisdom and learning in small words and phrases. They make strong impressions that are hard to forget. It is no wonder why Edward Bulwer, the writer believes "Pen is mightier than the sword".

Mira on 01/05/2016

Thank you, Sandy. I appreciate it.

sandyspider on 01/04/2016

Love your fun writer's mugs.

Mira on 04/15/2015

I think it's interesting to know that she also read a lot. And, like many today, considered that much of literature went back to the Bible and Shakespeare. Apparently she read the King James Bible many times. She also read the moderns of her time.

DerdriuMarriner on 04/09/2015

Mira, Same here as far as Emily's gifts. It's so fortunate that her poetry is available, that she didn't destroy it. She definitely saw beyond her own lifetime.

Mira on 04/09/2015

Yes, Emily Dickinson is truly one of a kind. I can't stop marveling at her gift.

DerdriuMarriner on 04/06/2015

Mira, Emily Dickinson's poetry is a bottomless well of inspiration. She used such an economy of words to say so much.

Mira on 04/04/2015

Yes, I, too, find, that customized mugs are more fun than plain ones. Zazzle is a great place, not only because it makes custom mugs easy to create, but also because their mugs are high-quality ones.

sheilamarie on 02/11/2015

I'm back revisiting this page and finding even more inspiration this time. I think having a mug for your morning tea or coffee with a quote on it is a great way to start the day. A little morning inspiration can set the mood for the whole day.

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