5 Great Writing Quotes to Get You Motivated

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou

Yes, the agony of not writing! I’ve tried it. I played that game for thirty years. Don’t do it unless you enjoy feeling like a worthless and envious slug. Pick up your pen. Tap away on the computer. Do something with those half-baked stories in your head. It won’t hurt anybody.

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“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
― Toni Morrison

Done. There is nothing like a life transformed by allowing the voice God gave you to speak out on paper. No need to look left or right to see how others are doing it. Your voice is just fine, in fact your voice is exactly what YOU need.

Once an agent dismissively told me U.S. historical fiction was dead. Well, I’m not dead, I still wrote the stories I wanted to read, and, as a bonus, a bunch of other people continue to read and enjoy them. Did I mention THE LATEST ONE is out today and you might enjoy it??

Stop listening to decrees for the moment. Stop searching for how-to rules online. After you have a first draft you can go back and beat yourself up for not following some semi-famous author’s guidebook – but you probably won’t want to beat yourself up by then because you will have finally realized that this is YOUR UNIQUE LIFE and IT HAS UNIQUE VALUE. You will be so in love with the discoveries you’ve made, the new people you’ve created, the very pens you’ve used that there will be no turning back.

When you finally seek advice it will be from a place of self-love and not self-protective fear.

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“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
― Sylvia Plath

Even if it’s awful. Even if it’s insane. Even if you find that you have creepier thoughts than you like to admit to the ever-present failure police in your head. One of my characters develops an obsession with eating pie – I thought it a bit gross for her because she’s usually so prim and proper, but realized finally that we all deal with grief and despair differently.

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“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”
― Henry David Thoreau

In first grade I wrote about a kitten who liked to drink tea and take showers. Since I was six I hadn’t lived much. Don’t take Thoreau too seriously here. Don’t wait for permission like I did. Don’t listen to parents or teachers or agents who say you’re vain to think your story about kittens needs to be written.

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Writing what you know is bullshit advice. Write what you want to discover:

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
― Kurt Vonnegut

Don’t wait! Jump. Right now! Your first hundred pages will feel like weights keeping you from flying but it’s an illusion.

About The Tenafly Road Series:

Buy THE ONE MY HEART LOVES (book 5 of the series) today!

“Characters so deep you follow them into the abyss, hoping to come out unscathed, but never returning the same. They will haunt me forever.”

The Tenafly Road Series

17 Comments Add yours

  1. I love quotes! These are some good ones, Adrienne.

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    1. Hi Jill! Yes sometimes (like every day) we need encouraging words. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Annika Perry says:

    Adrienne, superb empowering quotes about writing – I feel like I’m at a rally and want to stand up and cheer for all writers! I’ve seen Maya Angelou’s before and think it is so true! Here’s to jumping off the cliff and finding those writing wings … let the words carry us onwards and upwards! A wonderfully uplifting post … Happy Writing! xx

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    1. I especially love Kurt Vonnegut’s quote. I waited too long for the right time to begin–always so afraid I didn’t know enough to begin.

      I remember how people loved your essay about your grandfather — imagine if you had never written it and shared?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Annika Perry says:

        Adrienne, I actually can’t imagine not having written it – not now! It has meant so much to so many, resonating with them through loss & sadness. My niece has talked about it often and for my birthday made a small poster with the last paragraps written in varying font sizes. I cried at seeing her present … once I realised it was my work I was reading! 😀😃 Your post today was partially responsible for me trying out for fun a new poetic form … jumping away! Thank you! ❤️

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      2. That’s a beautiful story. thanks for sharing, Annika.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting quotes, Adrienne. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. What an encouraging post! Thank you! My trouble is just balancing everything. 🙂 But I know that I’m suppose to keep scribbling. So, just needing to create some good routines that allow for some time each day. 🙂

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    1. It’s so true that we “know” that we have to write. I now see it as a slap in the face of God not to pursue the passions God gives us.

      I LOVE your writing though lately I’ve been struggling to make any time for reading because my Lyme disease has been annoying my eyes BUT you need to keep writing. Your voice is so comforting and inspiring. You definitely have a gift, my friend.

      xxoo
      A

      Liked by 1 person

  5. PS – your desk and photos are SWOON-y. 🙂

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  6. All good quotes. Love the Sylvia Plath one. If you buy into that there are only five plots, she explains why we come up with infinite stories about them.

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    1. So true! When we’re young we spend time trying to be “different” when as writers it’s seems to be that we connect most when we capture what is the same about humans.

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  7. What an interesting post about writing – i really enjoyed reading your response to each quote. You’ve stood up to some ideas and embraced others – good for you. As for that agent – what an idiot. The writer in you proved him – her – wrong. Proof is in the ink.

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    1. The great thing about embracing a dream is that you get to that point where you love what you’re doing so much that other people and their opinions don’t weigh so heavily on you. She was a pretty rude agent though 😉

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  8. Wonderful choice of quotes– especially Plath !

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