A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
I’m a bit of a quote collector. I’m always scribbling down little snippets I’ve overheard or read and I love reading back over them.It’s difficult to limit myself to a mere handful, but here are a few of my favourite quotes for writers.
You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. ~ Jack London
Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us get up and go to work. ~ Stephen King
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. ~ Lao Tzu
The scariest moment is always just before you start. ~ Stephen King
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ~Thomas A. Edison
Eighty percent of success is showing up. ~ Woody Allen
The secret of it all is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood of the moment–to put things down without deliberation–without worrying about their style–without waiting for a fit time or place. I always worked that way. I took the first scrap of paper, the first doorstep, the first desk, and wrote–wrote, wrote…By writing at the instant, the very heartbeat of life is caught. ~by Walt Whitman
Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~by Anton Chekhov
Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain
Good writing is rewriting. ~Truman Capote
Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. ~ Anne Lamot
I’d love some more inspirational quotes to add to my collection. Please share some of your favourites.
Helen Douglas is the author of AFTER EDEN (Bloomsbury 2013) and CHASING STARS (Bloomsbury 2014), both YA novels with a sci-fi twist.
When people say to me that they would like to be a writer, or think they could be doing what I’m doing if only they had the time, or a husband says to his wife in front of me, ‘better get writing girl’, I have a snappy reply.
‘Pull up a spare twenty years and sit down love.’
And if a dilettante says they have finished writing their raw manuscript, I ask them how many drafts they’ve done so far, and the answer is usually a blank stare and a perplexed expression, and they reply ‘Just the one, this is it. ‘
‘Correction. You have just finished the first draft. You have not finished the book. You have many many rewrites in front of you. Even Shakespeare didn’t get it right the first time.’
I do so enjoy the looks on their faces.
And here’s a 3rd. If someone says they’ve got a fascinating life story, or a great idea for a book, and would I like to write it with them, I just tell them to go learn to write. There are creative writing classes at every college and uni in the country.
I could go on. But I won’t.
PS Thanks for a great post Helen!
Brilliant – thank you! I will be printing this out!
So true Lucy! Esp. #1. If I had the time!
Glad you like them Barbara 🙂