Do you ever feel like giving up on writing? I’ve been there. A couple times I’ve stayed in that dark place for awhile, but I always end up coming back. Why? I can’t help myself. Writing is in my blood. So the next time you feel like giving up, take this sound advice from some of the greats and motivate your muse!
1) “It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.”
– Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway. The man of concise words. Fake it ‘til you make it, right?
2) “If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.”
– Somerset Maugham
Compel your readers to turn the next page. Style is your own. If the passion is there, the readership will adapt.
3) “It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.”
– C. J. Cherryh
The magic is in the editing. Don’t give up!
4) “Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.”
– Ray Bradbury
5) “Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.”
– Willa Cather
You don’t HAVE to have an MFA. There aren’t any set in stone requirements to be a writer. Just write. That’s it. Don’t listen to that voice that’s telling you that you can’t do this. You can. You must.
6) “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
― Sylvia Plath
It’s going to take courage to be a writer. You’ve got this.
7) “Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.”
― Neil Gaiman
This is why writing habits are kind of essential, in my opinion. Some writing days will be better than others, but you will always be able to scrape together a few words, even if it feels like garbage. Even if it IS garbage. Tomorrow will be better. And anything written down is progress.
8) “You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
― Ray Bradbury
“We are the Music Makers, We are the Dreamers of Dreams…”
9) “Some writers enjoy writing, I am told. Not me. I enjoy having written.”
― George R.R. Martin
Nothing quite compares to the feeling of looking back on a finished draft. You created something out of nothing. Push through. Finish the thing. You aren’t the only one that feels discouraged with what you’ve written, especially if it’s a WIP(Work In Progress).
[P.S. Maybe if George didn’t kill off EVERYONE, he might like writing a little more, eh?]
10) “The second thing you have to do to be a writer is to keep on writing. Don’t listen to people who tell you that very few people get published and you won’t be one of them. Don’t listen to your friend who says you are better that Tolkien and don’t have to try any more. Keep writing, keep faith in the idea that you have unique stories to tell, and tell them. I meet far too many people who are going to be writers ‘someday.’ When they are out of high school, when they’ve finished college, after the wedding, when the kids are older, after I retire . . . That is such a trap You will never have any more free time than you do right now. So, whether you are 12 or 70, you should sit down today and start being a writer if that is what you want to do. You might have to write on a notebook while your kids are playing on the swings or write in your car on your coffee break. That’s okay. I think we’ve all ‘been there, done that.’
It all starts with the writing. ”
― Robin Hobb
Keep on keeping on. The greats were ‘nobodies’ once. Ever writer has been exactly where you are in your writing journey. It’s OK.
11) “Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself…It’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.” ― Harper Lee
Write what you want. Write because you love it. Write because you have to. Because you are a writer, dammit!
12) “It’s impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case you fail by default.”
— J.K. Rowling
This one is so important because as a writer, we encounter failure ALL. THE. TIME.
Or at least the feeling that we failed…
- Your first draft is garbage and now you have to start editing.
- You sent your MS to a Beta Reader and he has some not so nice things to say about it.
- You queried to 12,000 agents and keep getting rejected.
- You struggled to write 27 words today. How the hell do you think you’re a REAL writer?
On top of whatever else is going on in your non-writer life:
- Teething Babies.
- A broken toilet.
Listen, failure is normal. Get comfortable with failures. We all go through it.
Keep in mind, it is only a true failure if you don’t learn anything from it.
What are some of your favorite quotes?
What gives you comfort during the rough patches of your writing life?