Writing is hard.
It’s frustrating when the words tumble onto the page and they don’t fit together. Some days I wonder why I bother, but when I’m not writing the time can’t come fast enough. I look forward to my writing time. I remind myself to keep going. First drafts aren’t meant to be perfect, and even after a million and one revisions, it will in all probability be rejected. Still, I will continue to write because I’m writing for me. No-one else.
When the writing gets rough I like to read what other writers have said about writing, and I’m sharing a few quotes below for all you weary writers in need of an inspirational boost. Keep writing, because at the end of the day, dreams don’t work unless you do.
“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.” Stephen King, On Writing.
“Banging out a single book, then thinking you’re ready to give up your day job and be a full-time writer, is the equivalent of learning to play the Three Blind Mice on the piano and expecting to be booked into Carnegie Hall.” – Sue Grafton
“Work hard.” – James Frey“You can only write regularly if you’re willing to write badly. You can’t write regularly and write well. One should accept bad writing as a way of priming the pump, a warm up exercise that allows you to write well.” – Jennifer Egan“Expecting too much from an early draft is the most common mistake beginning writers make, and it leads to frustration and disappointment…. You must allow yourself to fail. You only write a first draft in order to have something to revise.” – John Dufresne“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” ― Louis L’Amour“Whatever genre you’re in, familiarize yourself with what’s current in your genre. What thrilled the reader even ten years ago doesn’t necessarily thrill today. Check out the competition.” – David Baldacci“When you feel the story is beginning to pick up rhythm – the characters are shaping up, you can see them, you can hear their voices, and they do things you haven’t planned, things you couldn’t have imagined – then you know the book is somewhere, and you just have to find it, and bring it, word by word, into this world.” – Isabelle Allende“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” -Stephen King“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”- Neil Gaiman“It’s hard to find time to write, especially when you have a job or kids, or both. Tell the people who love you that your writing time is sacred. And even if it’s two hours on a Saturday, take that time.” – Sara Gruen“At the end of a work day, leave yourself a page marker, an instruction that tells you where to start the next morning, so you’re oriented immediately when you sit down at your desk.” – Kathryn Harrison“Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.” – Meg Cabot“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.” – Stephen King“If you are finding the writing process tough, take a break and eat some chocolate.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi“Readers are interested in what’s going on in other parts of the world, because what’s going on in other parts of the world is relevant to what’s going on here. Writing with an international viewpoint is important.” – Grish Jen“It’s like dancing. When you’re dancing and counting the steps, you’re not dancing. When your body just goes — then you’re dancing, and then there’s a rhythm, there’s a velocity, there’s a feeling, there’s a joy that you cannot describe. And it happens in spite of me. I think that’s the moment in writing when the book starts to happen. From that point on, it’s all joy. At the beginning, it’s work.” – Isabelle Allende“In writing, I am constantly bewitched by the rhythm and sound of the words, and by the interaction of their sound and sense. I always read my work aloud. It is only then that I can tell if it’s alive.” – Natalie Bober“Act as if you’re a writer. Sit down and begin. Act as if you might just create something beautiful, and by beautiful I mean something authentic and universal. Don’t wait for anybody to tell you it’s okay.” – Dani Shapiro“Don’t romanticise your ‘vocation.’ You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no ‘writer’s lifestyle.’ All that matters is what you leave on the page. – Zadie Smith“Writing is an integral part of who I am as a human being. It’s how I process everything. Everything that happens to me feels a lot more real, more permanent, after I write about it. I never have all the answers when I begin writing something. And I don’t always have all the answers when I’m done, but I get a little bit closer to having a deeper understanding of myself.”- Edwidge Danticat“You can’t sit down and expect something golden and beautiful and wise to spring forth from your fingers the first time you write. You can, however, reasonably expect a piece of writing to get better each time you rewrite it. I can’t emphasize this strongly enough; writing means rewriting.” – Kate diCamillo“But when it’s good…it’s like going on a date that’s going well. There’s an electricity to the process that’s exciting and incomparable to anything else.” – Sebastian Junger“There is freedom in being a writer and writing. It is fulfilling your function. I used to think freedom meant doing whatever you want. It means knowing who you are, what you are supposed to be doing on this earth, and then simply doing it.” – Natalie Goldberg“You can’t be sloppy about the images you use. If you settle for ‘the rain hammered down’, it’s dead writing. You have to push yourself to think profoundly and imaginatively about what something looks like, what is sounds like, what it feels like. You have to push yourself to find powerful, original ways of describing things. If you can do that, and if you have good rhythm in your sentences, people will read everything you write and beg for more. – Sebastian Junger