The Best Harlan Ellison quotes

Harlan Ellison quotes thumbnail

In 1948, Harlan Ellison was born in Cleveland, Ohio to a Jewish family. Ellison’s father was a dentist and his mother was a homemaker. As a child, Ellison was heavily influenced by pulp magazines and science fiction. In fact, he claims that he read his first science fiction magazine at the age of 7. By 12, Ellison had started writing his own stories and poems. In 1957, Ellison published his first short story in an anthology entitled Dangerous Visions. From then on, Ellison became one of the most well-known and respected science fiction writers of all time. Over the course of his career, Ellison has won numerous awards, including 4 Hugo Awards and 8 Nebula Awards.

We are glad to present you the best Writing, Love, Writers quotes from Harlan Ellison, and much more.


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About Harlan Ellison

birth of the author

May 27, 1934

death of the author

June 28, 2018

occupation of the author

Author, Screenwriter, Essayist

date of the author


genre of the author

Speculative Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Crime Fiction, Mystery, Horror, Film And Television Criticism

movement of the author

Literary Movement:
New Wave

award of the author

Notable Works:
Dangerous Visions, A Boy And His Dog, “I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream”, ‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said The Ticktockman”


Writing is a holy chore. โ€” Harlan Ellison

Writing a novel is like going a great distance to take a small shit. โ€” Harlan Ellison

I’m nothing. Nothing at all without writing. Without truth, my truth, the only truth I know, it’s all a gambol in the pasture without rhythm or sense. โ€” Harlan Ellison

Because the chief commodity a writer has to sell is his courage. And if he has none, he is more than a coward. He is a sellout and a fink and a heretic, because writing is a holy chore. โ€” Harlan Ellison

writing is a holy chore Harlan Ellison quote

The only thing worth writing about is people. People. Human beings. Men and women whose individuality must be created, line by line, insight by insight. โ€” Harlan Ellison

Five thousand Don Hecks are not worth one Neal Adams. โ€” Harlan Ellison


They minute people fall in love they become liars. โ€” Harlan Ellison

I hate being wrong, but I love it when I’m set straight. โ€” Harlan Ellison

Love ain’t nothing but sex misspelled. โ€” Harlan Ellison

they minute people fall in love they become liars Harlan Ellison quote

If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you. โ€” Harlan Ellison

There are some people who just shouldn’t be allowed to fool around with love. โ€” Harlan Ellison

Then he said the truest thing about their relationship. He said, ‘We didn’t really fall in love. What we did was collide at the intersection of your life and mine. โ€” Harlan Ellison

Posing the question: does the god of love use underarm deodorant, vaginal spray and fluoride toothpaste? โ€” Harlan Ellison

On love i have no respect for anyOne who says they’ve given up, or that they’re not looking or that they’re tired. that is to abrogate One’s respOnsibility as a human being. โ€” Harlan Ellison

i hate being wrong but i love it when i m set straight Harlan Ellison quote

Surrounded by madness, surrounded by hunger, surrounded by everything but death, I knew death was our only way out. โ€” Harlan Ellison

I go to bed angry every night, and I get up angrier every morning. โ€” Harlan Ellison


You’re a writer. And that’s something better than being a millionaire. Because it’s something holy. โ€” Harlan Ellison

The trick is not becoming a writer. The trick is staying a writer. โ€” Harlan Ellison

I don’t think I’ve ever really been a science fiction writer. I’m closer to a fantasist, speculative fiction, whatever, but labels are ultimately derogatory, and I eschew them as best I can. โ€” Harlan Ellison

the trick is not becoming a writer the trick is staying a writer Harlan Ellison quote

Everywhere I go, I find that writers are treated as if they are invisible, as if they don’t matter. โ€” Harlan Ellison

Inspiring Phrases From Harlan Ellison

K is for ‘Kenghis Khan’; He was a very nice person. History has no record of him. There is a moral in that, somewhere. โ€” Harlan Ellison

Redundant Thematics

In Harlan Ellison Statements


There’s some things that no amount of money can get me to do. โ€” Harlan Ellison

I will use big words from time to time, the meanings of which I may only vaguely perceive, in hopes such cupidity will send you scampering to your dictionary: I will call such behavior ‘public service’. โ€” Harlan Ellison

People keep saying that books will never die out. Well, books may never die out, but hundreds of thousands of individual writers will, and for them, it’s as if books did die out. โ€” Harlan Ellison

there s some things that no amount of money can get me to do Harlan Ellison quote

Who wants a library full of books you’ve already read? โ€” Harlan Ellison

Anyone who can not write should. โ€” Harlan Ellison

Thank your readers and the critics who praise you, and then ignore them. Write for the most intelligent, wittiest, wisest audience in the universe: Write to please yourself. โ€” Harlan Ellison

Various Statements From Harlan Ellison

To say more is to say less. โ€” Harlan Ellison

I’m not nearly as significant as Ralph Nader or the local plumber. โ€” Harlan Ellison

to say more is to say less Harlan Ellison quote

All you have to do is look out around you at the good things you’ve done, and you’ll know how good you are. โ€” Harlan Ellison

I don’t remember anyone who could stand being in my company for more than five hours without running into the street. โ€” Harlan Ellison

You must never be afraid to go there. โ€” Harlan Ellison

I write a kind of surreal fantasy, but they can’t put ‘surreal fantasy’ on a paperback. โ€” Harlan Ellison

I usually say I write for the smartest, cleverest, wittiest audience I know, and that’s me. โ€” Harlan Ellison

i m not nearly as significant as ralph nader or the local plumber Harlan Ellison quote


Harlan Ellison is a master wordsmith with a lot of wisdom to share. His quotes have inspired us, and we hope they will do the same for you. If youโ€™re looking for more writing inspiration, or want to learn how to write better, check out our courses. We offer online classes that can help you improve your writing skills in no time.

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