Day 2…Quotes To Cure Writer’s Block {31 Days of Favorites}

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Just like clockwork – busyness, procrastination and writer’s block have set in.

 On day two.

We are traveling this week to see my husband’s family, and have been in and out of the airport for two solid days, as our flights have been delayed, cancelled, then delayed again with the first winter storm of the year in the mountains.  {Ironically, we are flying to a locale where it is almost 90 degrees – gotta love traveling!}

Whilst writing day 2 of this series on day 4–this post’s theme felt perfect for today.

Today I’m sharing my favorite writing quotes, anecdotes and inspiration.  Whether you’re a seasoned writer, a newbie at writing for 31 days, or just a passing reader, I think these thoughts will speak to you in whatever creative process you find yourself in. 

{Unless otherwise specified, all quotes in this post were found in the fantastic book, A Year of Writing Dangerously: 365 Days of Inspiration & Encouragement by Barbara Abercrombie–a writing professor at UCLA.    For writers at all levels and stages, this book is highly recommended!}

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!

~Anonymous (originally attributed to Goethe)

 

The only way you learn to write is by reading and studying the kind of thing you would like to write–and by writing.                 

~Barbara Abercrombie

 

There is a door we all want to walk through, and writing can help you find it and open it. Writing can give you what having a baby can give you: it can get you to start paying attention, can help you soften, can wake you up. But publishing won’t do any of those things; you’ll never get in that way.

~Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird 

 

I tell my students one of the most important things they need to know is when they are at their best, creatively.  They need to ask themselves, What does the ideal room look like?  Is there music?  Is there silence?  Is there chaos outside or is there serenity outside?  What do I need in order to release my imagination?

~Toni Morrison

 

I believe that–if you are serious about a life of writing, or indeed about any creative form of expression–you should take on this work like a holy calling.

~Elizabeth Gilbert

 

When that voice starts chirping in your head and chipping away at your confidence, here’s what you do:  Listen to another voice, the sweet, calm voice that’s saying, Just do the work.  Tell your story; it’s important.  Have faith.

~Barbara Abercrombie

 daph&quotes

 

Working writers aren’t those who have eliminated their anxiety.  They are the ones who keep scribbling while their heart races and their stomach churns.  

~Ralph Keyes

 

Discover your voice.  Determine how it is different from all other voices.

~Gordon Lish

 

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.

~Aristotle

 

Eight Ways To Sabotage Yourself

  • 1. I have nothing original to write because everything interesting has already been written.
  • 2. I don’t have enough time right now.  I’ll start writing later.  I’ll write someday.
  • 3. What if someone reads what I’ve written?
  • 4. What if nobody reads what I’ve written?
  • 5. I have to mow the lawn, clean the closets, wash the car, run a load of laundry, order something online right now.
  • 6. I have to check my email.
  • 7. I have to answer a few emails.
  • 8. I have to check my Facebook page. [Or Twitter. Or Instagram. Or Stats.]

~Barbara Abercrombie

I didn’t start writing until I was forty-seven.  I had always wanted to write but thought you needed a degree, or membership in a club nobody had asked me to join...It was a long time before I realized that you don’t have to start right, you just have to start.       

~Abigail Thomas

 

Everything has been said; but not everything has been said superbly, and even if it had been, everything must be said freshly, over and over.  

~Paul Horgan

 

Stanislanski’s book An Actor Prepares was my Bible when I was an actress.  Reading my underlined copy now, I realize how pertinent all this Russian wisdom about acting can be for writers.  “Don’t act ‘in general’, for the sake of action; always act with a purpose,” writes Stanislavski.  “If an action has no inner foundation, it cannot hold your attention.”

What is my motivation?  is a question method actors ask themselves before doing a scene.  What do I want and need?  This is vital for writers too, in both fiction and nonfiction.  Think about what’s at stake…what your characters or you are after. This need, this want, becomes the subtext of every compelling scene, acted or written.

~Barbara Abercrombie

 

I have advice for people who want to write. I don’t care whether they’re 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader. It’s the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it’s for only half an hour — write, write, write.” 

~Madeleine L’Engle

 

Its the idea that won’t go away that you must write about…

~Barbara Abercrombie

Inspiration is to work everyday. 

–Charles Baudelaire

What are some of your sources to fight writers block? 

Where do you go for inspiration?

 

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