7 Writing Quotes That Will Inspire You

Paris Notebook“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”
—Elmore Leonard

“Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.
—Ray Bradbury, WD

“Anyone who is going to be a writer knows enough at 15 to write several novels.”
—May Sarton

“You do not have to explain every single drop of water contained in a rain barrel. You have to explain one drop—H2O. The reader will get it.”
—George Singleton

“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature.”
—Ernest Hemingway

“Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.”
—Henry David Thoreau

“First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!”
—Ray Bradbury

12 Ways to Get Inspired When You’re Feeling Uninspired

12WaystoGetInspiredI recently went through a writer’s lull. I was trying to work on my second novel but for some reason, I couldn’t focus. I knew how I wanted to rewrite and edit the story, I just couldn’t get myself to sit in front of the computer and do it. This went on for weeks and it was beginning to frustrate me. The ideas were all there, but somehow I wasn’t motivated.

Determined to get back on track, I changed my routines and tried new things. It worked.

If you’ve been feeling uninspired to write lately, here are 12 ways to get you back on track:

  1. Take a break. Working on the same manuscript for days or months can be daunting. Give it time to rest and go back to it a few days, a few weeks, or a few months later.
  2. Take a walk. Writing is sedentary. Get some fresh air and go for a nice long stroll to get your creative juices flowing again. Check out this article: http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/walking-helps-us-think
  3. Change where you write. If you usually write in the living room, try writing in the kitchen, or in the bedroom. If that doesn’t work, leave the house and try writing at a coffee shop, at a library, or at a park. A change of venue could do the trick.
  4. Change when you write. If you usually write in the mornings, try writing at night. And if you usually have a set time for writing, don’t have one. Instead of writing for three hours straight, try writing for just an hour and then take a break.
  5. Switch it up. If you find yourself staring blankly at the computer screen, try writing on a piece of paper. Get a notebook and a pen and start free writing. This always works for me.
  6. Listen to Music. And not just the same music you normally listen to. Change it up and try new genres.
  7. Watch a Movie. Pick your favorite blockbuster flick, or check out a new movie. Take advantage of your Netflix membership and explore old films, new films, foreign films, and independent films. Movies always help inspire me.
  8. Pack a bag and go somewhere. If you’re on a tight budget, taking a day off, or a little weekend getaway somewhere close by could be all you need. A nice vacation—short or long—will help you recharge.
  9. Write something else. Put the current manuscript aside and try writing a poem, a short story, or start a new novel. Then go back to the previous manuscript when you’re ready.
  10. Read a book or a magazine. You don’t have to read an entire book, unless you want to. Even reading a few pages could be enough to get you back on track. I’ve done this many times. Whenever I feel stuck, I flip through different books and read a few pages. Reading a beautifully written paragraph or dialogue is sometimes enough to inspire me to write again.
  11. Go back to your old notes. Remember the notes you wrote down on that napkin, or that notebook, or the one you typed up on your phone months ago? This is the time to read them over. There might be something there that could inspire you.
  12. Write. Sometimes the cure to feeling uninspired to write is to simply keep writing. Write anything. That anything could turn into something. It doesn’t have to be good…yet. Just write it. The whole idea is for you to start writing again. You can always edit later.

Happy writing!

The Invitation by Oriah

A dear friend of mine introduced me to this beautiful poem. Thought I’d share it with you.

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Image by cmbanerjee

The Invitation by Oriah

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming,
from the book The Invitation
published by HarperONE, San Francisco,
1999 All rights reserved

Inspiration

Sometimes all it takes is that one perfect song to get you going—to get you writing that short story, or that novel. Other times it takes a good long stroll, or maybe a vacation, or last night’s dream to inspire you to write. But as writers, we must write even when we aren’t inspired to. Even on days when we think we don’t have time to write—we make time to write…anything. A sentence, a paragraph, a page, or a chapter. Because it is from writing every day that we are able to start a story and finish it.

I came across this short, but inspiring clip of authors sharing some invaluable advice on writing. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the video:

“Write a story for yourself.”
“Investigate on what your truths are and have faith in it.”
“Let the audience that’s meant to find it, find it.”
—Wally Lamb

“Write every day.”
—Diane Hammond

“When you have writer’s block—write. That’s how you unblock.”
“No book is written. Every book is re-written.”
—Ridley Pearson 

“Read. The more you read, the better you write. Write. Keep writing because the more you write, the better you write.”
—Anthony Horowitz

“Trust yourself. Write exactly what you think you want to write.”
—Lee Child

“If all else fails, just keep trying.”
—Graeme Base

“There’s one thing that all writers have, that you have…your voice.”
—Dennis Lehane

“Write what you know. Write what you believe in.”
—Robert Crais

Here is the link to the video:

Happy writing!

5 Inspiring Quotes on Writing

Happy Friday, folks!

“First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!”
—Ray Bradbury

“If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.”
—Somerset Maugham

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”
—William Faulkner

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
—E. L. Doctorow

“I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly.”
—Edgar Rice Burroughs

Tips on Writing

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While going through some of my old books in our back room, I came across a book called, “Writer’s Little Book of Wisdom” by John Long. I have a feeling I bought it years ago, back when I used to only dream of becoming a writer.

After wiping the dust off the book, I decided to flip through it. As I read the first few pages, I wondered if my younger self actually read the book. And then I saw this dog-eared page. 

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Here are a few writing tips from this little book:

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This is one of those books that you can pull out any day and randomly pick a page to read. And that particular page on that particular day could inspire you to write. Or it could simply remind you of what to do, or of what not to do as a writer.

 

 

 

 

Yes, You Can

“And the idea of just wandering off to a cafe with a notebook and writing and seeing where that takes me for awhile is just bliss.”

—J. K. Rowling

We are all capable of doing so many things—things that may seem impossible to others, or even to ourselves. Sometimes we say, “I can never do this, or “I can never do that,” but it’s not really that we “can never” do something, it’s just that we haven’t tried, or maybe we’re afraid to.

When I began to write my first novel, “HIGH”, I didn’t know where it was going. I didn’t know what I was about to create. All I knew was that I wanted to start writing it and keep writing it until one day, I finished it.

Writing a novel is such an amazing adventure. You sit there alone with your thoughts, mixing words to tell a story. And as you get lost inside your own little world, things begin to happen, and soon, the story has written itself. But you would’ve never known where the story was going or how far you could’ve written it until you allowed yourself to write, and keep writing.

Sometimes you just have to run that race, make that change, allow yourself to the let the pen hit the paper, because you will never know what you can finish unless you start.

It’s not that you “can never” do something. You can. But first, you must give yourself a chance to do it.

Behind the Laughter

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Robin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014)

To the man who made us laugh all these years…You will be missed.

I may have been very young then, but I remember watching Mork and Mindy with my mom and dad and my siblings and laughing with them—memories that will stay with me forever, thanks to a comic genius.

I’ve always thought that the hardest question to answer is “Are you happy?” People often pause and think hard when you ask them this. You can follow up this question with, “When was the last time you were really happy?” This one gets them thinking even more.

Think about it. Are you happy? When was the last time you were really happy?

There are people we know who often smile and joke around a lot and laugh their hearts out when you see them, but it doesn’t always mean they’re happy. If you take the time to look into their eyes when the laughter has faded, you may see sadness and loneliness behind the smiles. They may try to hide behind the laughter because they don’t want anyone to see their pain, but if you look, and look really hard, you may be able to save someone’s life.

Robin Williams died after an apparent suicide. There are people out there, maybe in our families, or in our circle of friends, who are in need of a smile—a hug—a hand to hold—a conversation. Instead of asking for help, they slowly drown inside their sorrows. We must take the time to see them, listen to them, reach out to them, and spend time with them, because they may never reach out to us.

If you need help, please ask for help and tell someone. And if you see someone in need—help them.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. If you lose that, you’re nothing.” – Robin Williams