Inspirational quotes for writers

book2Anyone who has experienced a mid-year writing slump knows that a little bit of inspiration can be all it takes to keep going. So here are fifteen of my favourite quotes to help stir the creative soul.

1.) ‘The scariest moment is always just before you start.’ Stephen King

2.) ‘Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.” Rita Mae Brown

3.) ‘Don’t quit—return home to your writing.’ Elizabeth Gilbert

4.) ‘Mistakes are the portals of discovery.’ James Joyce

5.) ‘Asking “Why?” can lead to understanding. Asking “Why not?” can lead to breakthroughs.’ Daniel Pink

6.) ‘Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.’ Cyril Connolly

7.) ‘The world is but a canvas to the imagination.’ Henry David Thoreau

8.) ‘When I am writing, I am doing the thing I was meant to do.’ Anne Sexton

9.) ‘Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.’ John Steinbeck

10.) ‘Have no fear of perfection—you’ll never reach it.’ Salvadore Dali

11.) ‘I write to take all the terror and tragedy and comedy and banality of life and wrestle it into something I can understand.’ Kathleen Caron

12.) ‘Creativity is an act of defiance.’ Twyla Tharp

13.) ‘You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.’ Jodi Picoult

14.) ‘It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.’ J.K. Rowling

15.) ‘I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.’ Vincent van Gogh

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5 ways to get your writerly groove back

computer1Suffice to say, taking a long stint away from writing makes it extremely daunting when you finally decide it’s time to get back into it.

It’s been a little while since I last worked on my manuscript, but here’s how I’ve started dragging myself out of the mire.

Visualise yourself writing

If an activity is visualised often enough, your subconscious will believe it is a part of your real life. So be specific and involve the senses. Imagine the tap of the keyboard, the creak of your chair as you lean forward, the coolness of the floorboards under your feet. Remember the warm rush in your mind as the words flow out and the satisfaction you feel as a blank page is transformed. Imagine yourself entirely in that moment, with none of the guilt or panic you feel at not actually being at your desk. And do it often. When you’re finally ready to work on the manuscript, it won’t feel so alien or overwhelming.

Don’t set goals on your first day back

Face it, you’re going to be pretty emotional. There’ll be the relief of finally writing again, plus the anxiety of having wasted so much time. Don’t pressure yourself by committing to some sort of grand production schedule or list of tasks that will get you back on track. Calm down. You’ll be okay. Just write.

Start with something simple

computer2Whatever you write on your first day will probably be hard work. It’ll take twice as long to write half as much, and it likely won’t be your finest achievement. So start on something you won’t have to fight with. If setting is your strength, focus on that. If you have a clear idea of how two characters are going to interact, get writing. But don’t start on a critical, vague or difficult scene—that’s how you end up hiding under the bed with a tub of ice cream.

Accept that it won’t be easy

You’re going to struggle, and writer’s guilt seems to hit whether you’re writing or not. So be kind, acknowledge all of the negative thoughts, and then move on.

Celebrate the small successes

Managed to write a sentence, paragraph or page? It’s more than you’ve written in eons! Revel in it and ignore all of the imperfections. Follow it up with a second day of writing, and a third, fourth, etc. Get some momentum and allow yourself to enjoy the process. You’re a writer once more.