I love a good quote! I’ve found them useful not only in my writing life but in other aspects of my life too. There’s no shortage of great and inspirational writing quotes, but I’ve gathered up ten of them that really resonate with me. These are the quotes I read over and over again whenever I need a writing pick-me-up or a just a kick in the pants!
10. For when you can’t get started:
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
Even if you don’t quite know where you’re going, pick up your pen or get your fingers moving across the keyboard. Trust in the process — and trust that you will figure it out!
9. For when you have a different, off-the-wall idea:
“There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be.”
Sure, all stories should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Other than that, most writing “rules” can be broken, in my opinion. Want to tell a pirate story from the parrot’s point of view? Do it. Think a book can be written entirely or mostly in the form of text messages? Sure it can. Would song lyrics or illustrations be better chapter headings than the usual numbers at the top of the page? Are chapter headings even needed? Try it and see. Your unconventional idea just may pan out!
8. For when you want to write in different genres:
“I’m a writer and I will write what I want to write.”
I understand why the normal advice is to stick to one genre, but as a Gemini, that’s not going to work for me. My first book is YA, and I just finished another YA first draft. I also have a New Adult manuscript that’s not quite finished. But I don’t know what the future holds. I do have ideas that would be hard to box into the YA genre. It’s likely that one day I will write something that’s not YA/NA. And I should be able to because I’m a writer. But do use some common sense if you write different genres. For instance, if you’re an established erotica writer and have a great idea for a children’s book, you may want to use a pseudonym.
7. For when you don’t feel like the badass you are:
“You need a certain amount of nerve to be a writer.”
Putting your words out into the universe is scary, but as writers, it’s what we want to do. And whether we are traditionally published, self-published, or post only on our blogs and across social media, eventually, our words do get out there for others to read. And that is badass! Even writing what’s true to you and finishing a project makes you a badass, so carry on.
6. For when you need inspiration or ideas:
“A good writer is always a people watcher.”
Let’s face it – people-watching is just fun. It’s also a perpetual source of ideas and inspiration. The next time you’re at a concert, the coffeehouse, or a restaurant for dinner, take notice of those around you. Is one of the best friends dancing at the concert sweating buckets, while the other one looks like she just stepped out of the pages of Vogue? Does the barista have a nervous tick when the coffeehouse is busy? Did the guy at the next table at dinner just say something stupid to his girlfriend? Observe and jot notes down in a tiny notebook or on your phone. You can come across story ideas, character traits, and lines of dialogue by simply keeping your eyes and ears open.
5. For when you are inspired by your own life:
“Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.”
Your own life is also a source of inspiration. Survived a traumatic experience? Been on an epic road trip? Won the lottery? Write about it! Not necessarily a memoir, which I imagine would be therapeutic and provide clarity and perhaps closure. I’ve never written one so I don’t know. But maybe you can give a fictional character one of your experiences? Even a fictionalized account of your life or something that has happened to you can be therapeutic and give you clarity and closure. I have done this and I can honestly say it was therapeutic and I felt so much better when I was done.
On the flip side of this coin, if you have a story idea that you keep thinking about and that won’t go away, write it! This has happened to me and the only way I got it out of my head was to write the story. Don’t ignore those thoughts if and when you have them! They’re likely to produce some of your best stories!
4. For when you want to sharpen your writing skills:
“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.
Reading is one of the best and most important things to do if you want to become better at your craft. Of course, you probably already read books in the genre you write, but if not, you should be! Reading within the genre you write is the best education of what works and what doesn’t, and it can also spark your own story or formatting ideas. But you should read across genres as well. If there’s something you’ve never written before, you can pick up tips on how to do it well. Here’s an example: Say you’re a romance writer whose protagonist falls in love with a paid assassin. If you read action novels, you’ll run across some excellent examples of those types of characters and how they act, their mannerisms, the type of gun they use, etc. You never know when something you read outside your genre mkay come in handy!
3. For when you think you’ll “someday” get around to writing your book:
“There is no excuse. If you want to write, write. This is your life, you are responsible for it. You will not live forever. Don’t wait. Make the time now.”
This pretty much says it all. We never know what the future will hold, so don’t put off your writing dreams. Sure, we all have busy lives. If you need to, get out a calendar and make writing appointments with yourself each week. Get up an hour early or go to bed an hour later. Do whatever it is you need to do to get your butt in the chair!
2. For when you need to believe in yourself:
“Your only responsibility as a writer is to be true to the story that has chosen you as its writer.”
So, you’ve written a book and have asked friends, family, and beta readers to read it and give you feedback. They may point out plot holes, continuity errors, underdeveloped characters, grammatical errors, and the like. That is the kind of stuff you should listen to. But if someone suggests changes to a character or the plot that you don’t believe will benefit the overall story, then go with your gut. You have spent more time with those characters and that story than anyone else and you know them best. Even if an editor suggests changes that you’re not comfortable with, speak up! As the author, you should please yourself first!
For when you lose sight of why you started writing in the first place:
“A piece of writing is like a piece of magic. You create something out of nothing.”
Because one day, someone will be holding your book, reading a bit of magic that you created! And wouldn’t that make the whole arduous and wonderful writing journey worth it?