Inspirational quips for writers abound. Which do you turn to when you’re stuck like I find myself recently? I can see an end in sight, but my writing is the verbal equivalent of walking through quicksand.
I’m about 80 percent of the way through a major revision of my WIP. Never liked how I ended the story in the draft. So now, after two-plus years of revising, I’m creating some brand new scenes. That requires a whole different muscle.
I toiled yesterday putting one word after another and hearing the voice in my head saying, “This is boring.” “I don’t know where it’s going.” Etc. But I kept on writing. One motivational quote that comes to mind in these moments is from Jodi Picoult: “You can’t edit a blank page.”
But my favorite quote, my mantra, is one of my own making: “Give yourself permission to suck.” Somewhere in the mess of words I’m dumping onto the page is something salvageable. If that sounds much like trying to find something of value while traipsing through a stinky landfill, that’s just what I’m saying.
There are quotes that inspire you to write, and then there are some that don’t.
Quotes I like:
E. L. Doctorow: Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
Margaret Atwood: If I waited for perfection I would never write a word.
Kurt Vonnegut: We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing wings on the way down.
John Cleese: Nothing will stop you being creative so much as the fear of making a mistake.
Aristotle: We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
Quotes I ignore:
Stephen King: Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Terry Pratchett: There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.
Herman Melviille: To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.
Dorothy Parker: I hate writing, I love having written.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment.