In my almost dozen years of editing, I’ve had occasion to acts as both coach and cheerleader for my authors. During that time, I’ve discovered this secret about writing: At some point or another, every writer gets stuck. Maybe it’s on the first page, when you’re staring at that dreaded blank screen; maybe it’s somewhere in the middle, when the freshness has worn off and there’s nothing left to do but slog on; maybe it’s at the end when you’re ready to be done but it’s not quite coming together. And as a writer myself, I’ve felt the pain of writer’s block firsthand.
So I’ve been collecting these quotes for years, some more profound than others, with this central message: You are not alone. You may feel stuck, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a writer. You may feel stuck, but that doesn’t mean you should quit. I hope these words from people a lot smarter and a lot more talented than I am will inspire you on those days when you’re having trouble putting one word in front of the other.
There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges. —Ernest Hemingway
Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for. —Ray Bradbury
Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it. —Madeleine L’Engle
We are people of the word. Words matter because they carry ideas and ideas rule the world. —Richard Foster
If you can do it for joy, you can do it forever. —Stephen King
You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. —Jack London
A book is a soulish thing. It is physical—dots of ink and paper from old trees—and yet it feeds our minds and moves our wills. . . . Books connect us with ourselves and with others—and perhaps with God. —John Ortberg
Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. . . . We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. —Anne Lamott
Writing makes a person very vulnerable. It opens you to public criticism, to ridicule, to rejection. But it also opens conversation and thought. It stirs minds, and touches hearts. It brings us into contact with our souls. —Joan Chittister, Order of Saint Benedict
Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good. —William Faulkner
What’s the best writing advice you’ve received?
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