I think we all do at some point.
So with that said, here are…
Ten Awesome Quotes from Ten Awesome Authors (and why I think they’re awesome)
Write even more.
Write even more than that.
Write when you don’t want to.
Write when you do.
Write when you have something to say.
Write when you don’t.
Write every day.
Keep writing.” -Brian Clark: 10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer.
Of the quotes I picked for this post, this one is the second most important. You have to write every day. Even when you don’t want to. Even when what you’re writing is garbage. Every word you put down makes you a better writer and gets you one word closer to achieving the success you dream of. (Also, if you’re wondering which quote is the most important one, keep reading.)
“The first thing you have to learn when you go into the arts is to learn to cope with rejection. If you can’t, you’re dead” -Warren Adler
It’s kind of taken for granted, but if you’re going to be writing fiction, you’ve got to be able to take rejection. Your work will get rejected. Constantly. At last count, I’ve received 137 short story rejection letters. If I got bent out of shape every time I received a rejection letter I’d would have given up a long time ago. Just remember: Rejections aren’t personal and they don’t mean you’re a bad writer.
“Don’t say it was delightful; make us say delightful when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers ‘Please will you do the job for me.’” -C.S. Lewis
Indeed. There’s nothing I hate more than finding a first paragraph full of adjectives. It’s your job as the writer to present the details of the scene without simply telling.
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” -Ernest Hemingway
I love this one. The only thing you owe your readers is to tell them the truth. If you’re lying–if you break that trust–you’re wasting both their time and yours.
“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.” -Mark Twain
This quote from Mark Twain is something we should all remember. When you first start writing, write like you’re never going to get paid for it. That’s the only way to test whether or not you actually love writing. Because if you don’t love writing with all your heart and soul, you won’t be good enough to get paid for it anyhow.
“Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.” -Neil Gaiman
Such an awesome quote from Neil Gaiman. Remember, when you’re getting feedback from people, they need to be honest with you, and tell you if something doesn’t work. But they didn’t write your story, so as soon as they start rewriting any of it, it’s going to be wrong.
“When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.” -Raymond Chandler
So cool. Throw in the unexpected. Surprise your audience, keep yourself alert, and (more importantly) kick writer’s block to to curb.
“There is no such thing as lack of time, only unclear priorities and lack of motivation. It is better to abandon a project than to work on it half-heartedly for a protracted period of time.” -Gudjon Bergmann
Don’t ever tell me you don’t have time to write. I’ve got three kids under the age of four and an hour long drive to work. I’ve also got a published novel and over twenty short stories. I’m not trying to impress you, but I am telling you that if I can find time to chase my dreams, so can you. So can anybody.
“Language does not always have to wear a tie and lace-up shoes. The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story … to make him/her forget, whenever possible, that he/she is reading a story at all.” -Stephen King
As he usually does, Stephen King, puts it perfectly. Your job as a writer isn’t to show off how many four-syllable words you know. It’s to make everyday people forgot the drama and horror of real life and just enjoy a story every now and then.
“You only fail if you stop writing.” -Ray Bradbury
If you were trying to guess which quote I consider the most important, it’s this one from Ray Bradbury. You only fail if you stop writing. So true. The successful writers are simply the ones who never give up. And I, for one, don’t ever plan to give up. I hope you don’t either.
Thanks for reading, if you’ve got some good writing quotes you’d like to share, leave a comment!