Quotes from the writing world are just awesome, aren’t they? I love to hunt them down, write my current favorites in my planner, and keep them close. To me, the wise words of writers who have come before me are as precious as words from any real-time mentor. It doesn’t matter if that writer used words for songs or YA or poetry or nonfiction. We all work with words and can draw from the same powerful source for our own writing lives.
Please feel free to share any of these images around on the internet. I’d appreciate it if you’d keep my website mark intact at the bottom so others can find me, but the quotes aren’t mine, and the images are all free stock, so I claim very little real ownership here.
I hope these inspire you to pick your pen up for the first time – or the next time. Get to work on those dreams!
A QUOTE TO ENCOURAGE
If I had to choose one single quote to share with new authors, this would be it. The hardest part of the journey is the first time you get started. Many aspiring writers dream for years about writing before they put a pen to paper. Others jot a few paragraphs or pages, but never set a specific goal to reach.
I sorta feel like all new writers should be required to copy this quote at the top of a piece of paper every day for a month. My hope would be that by the end of the month, more words would follow. Maybe a few tentative garbage words. But something to jumpstart that writing and carry it forward.
Make it your mantra. Lose the fear. Write the book.
A QUOTE TO EMPOWER
This one goes hand in hand with the first. By losing the fear and starting to put words down, you prove to yourself that you can do it. The more you practice writing, the easier it will become, and the stronger you will feel. Each day you put words down on paper, you remind yourself that you truly are writing. And what’s the thing that separates a writer from everyone else? Writing. You may not be perfect, but you’re already a better writer than everyone who isn’t writing yet.
The funny thing after having written sixteen books of my own is I still feel a hint of fear everytime I begin. Will I remember how to write? Can I still make words? Do I know how to novel?
It’s that practice of putting my butt in the chair, my fingers on the keyboard, and my fears to rest. Setting out with purpose to follow my writing routine helps me shake that tiny, lingering concern and get down to business.
A QUOTE FOR THOSE WHO NEED PERMISSION
This quote should be chiseled into a tablet somewhere and set as the first rule of writing. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve had an aspiring writer tell me they don’t know what to write or they worry about getting started because, “What if it’s not any good?” I would take every single one of you to get funnel cake – or whatever your favorite food is.
I cannot impress upon you, dear writer, enough: just write.
You’ve seen me use the term “garbage words” a lot, and I don’t know how that became the phrase that stuck, but it seems to work. I use it so often because I am hopeful it will desensitize the concern over having to let go of words. So many writers cling to the words they’ve written. I think part of it is that black turtleneck, tortured writer fear that one day the words will stop. Meh. Maybe. But words are words. We make up new ones all the time. We’ve let whole words go out of use. There will always be words. To say you don’t know what to say is silly. How often do you say anything at all?
It’s not ever about making the words perfect on the first round – unless you’re somehow up against a deadline and only have one shot at writing. In that case, I’d raise my eyebrow at you and ask if you, perhaps, have an issue with procrastination that backed you into that nice little corner you’re occupying.
Make words. Even if they’re garbage on the first go. You can’t do jack without the words, but you can always make garbage words better.
A QUOTE TO FREE YOUR MIND
I love the different ways you can interpret this quote for yourself. Is it the freedom to write words others won’t like? Or the freedom to write words that don’t ultimately serve the purpose in the best way? Maybe it’s the right to write garbage words? Could be all of those!
Permit yourself to put the words down. Know they might change. You might write whole chapters (or books) that you end up scrapping. Still better than no words.
But on that note, do be watchful, writer friend, of your attachment to the words. It’s easy to pour heart and soul and time and energy into words. It may not seem simple at the time, but believe me: the moment at which you are first faced with the need to scrap those words, you’ll realize the writing was the easy part (no matter how hard it was).
Yes, those lovely words are made up of your essence. Try to take comfort in the idea that you’re not wasting them. The words you have to scrap still got you to where you need to go. They may have helped you get there by opening your mind to a thought you hadn’t yet fully explored. They may produce a result that is deeper than you could ever have imagined. So when the words blink up at you from the page with their big, big sad puppy eyes, thank them for being there and ask them to come back to you. You can always use them elsewhere later, even if you have to rearrange them into something entirely new.
It’s not like we only have a finite number of “ands” assigned to us in our lifetimes. Unless, of course, you consider the last words you ever speak on Earth. But let’s not be gloomy here. Cherish the right to write the wrong words. Then write them with abandon.
A QUOTE FOR THE DREAMERS
Whatever remarkable story or words you have in your brain, it’s time to get it out. If the art of creating through words is a passion for you, get your values in order around it.
I spent many years running from my creative nature. I chased path after path searching for something that would make me happy. If I’d only turned and run into the artistic fray, I would have found that happiness and fulfillment so much sooner!
If your very being demands creativity from you, please, please, please do not turn your back on that feeling. Find some way, even if it must be small, to open your heart and mind to that urge. Being true to yourself really is a triumph over chaos – an art in and of itself. I encourage you to find the things that you truly cannot live without. And then, you know, be bold enough to not live without them!
What’s your favorite quote out of these? Is there another one you live by? What words inspire your creative life? Leave me a comment – I’d love your input!
Until next time, cheers and happy writing!