Improve every opportunity to express yourself in writing, as if it were your last.
Journal, 17 December 1851
Whatever book or sentence will bear to be read twice, we may be sure was thought twice.
Journal, 18 March 1842
It is vain to try to write unless you feel strong in the knees.
Journal, 9 August 1841
Language is the most perfect work of art in the world. The chisel of a thousand years retouches it.
Journal, 27 July 1840
Write while the heat is in you. When the farmer burns a hole in his yoke, he carries the hot iron quickly from the fire to the wood, for every moment it is less effectual to penetrate it. It must be used instantly, or it is useless. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.
Journal, 10 February 1852
How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live!
Journal, 19 August 1851
The words of some men are thrown forcibly against you and adhere like burs.
Journal, 4 June 1839
It is fatal to the writer to be too much possessed by his thought. Things must lie a little remote to be described.
Journal, 11 November 1851