Writers come in all shapes and sizes. Some of us are content professionals while others are born storytellers destined to bring magic to the world. Wherever your literacy passions lie, words and phrases are fuel for your soul. So, with this in mind I’ve zoned in on 20 Quotes Writers Need to Start the Year.
#1 Roald Dahl – “Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.” I love this, as while you might have the ‘power’ to write great content, it’s important to channel this effectively in order to maximise your potential.
#2 Terry Pratchett – “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” One of the most important stages of writing is simply getting something down on paper. From there, you can start to fine tune your words and ideas.
#3 Virginia Wolfe – “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” Don’t be afraid to add authenticity to your work by drawing on personal experiences.
#4 Maya Angelou – “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Come on guys, 2020 is a new year full of new possibilities, so what are you waiting for?
#5 Sylvia Plath – “And by the way, everything in life is writable if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Have confidence in what you’re doing and take your talents to the next level.
#6 Anton Chekov – “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Focus on bringing your work to life. No emotion in the writer, no emotion in the reader.
#7 Stephen King – “When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.” This speaks for itself. Don’t be afraid of that all-important editing process.
#8 Orson Scott – “Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” Find inspiration in what’s around you. Use characters and settings from your own life in your writing. The best stories are the real ones.
#9 Franz Kafka – “Don’t bend; don’t water it down, don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” As the author of short story Metamorphosis, Kafka offers useful advice about writing to satisfy your own mind – and no one else’s.
#10 Albert Einstein – “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Write about what you enjoy for the best results.
#11 Walt Disney – “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Are you the master of procrastination? Well, maybe you can try to be more productive and embark on a new writing project in 2020.
#12 Will Rogers – “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.” If you screwed up all your drafts yesterday, don’t dwell on it. Take a deep breath and start again.
#13 Anne Frank – “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” Never underestimate the healing power of words.
#14 Chinua Achebe – “I believe myself that a good writer doesn’t need to be told anything except to keep at it.” If you have something you want to achieve, don’t give up. And keep practicing, enhancing your skills as you go.
#15 Lisa See – “Read a thousand books and your words will flow.” This is so true. The more you read, the more you’ll be exposed to different writing style until you settle on a tone of voice that suits you.
#16 Octavia E. Butler – “You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” Amusing, but the advice is spot on. If you’ve written something you believe to be “good,” go back and read it another day to ensure it’s as awesome as you can make it.
#17 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – “Everything is hard before it is easy.” The more you write, the more you’ll find your style and get into the swing of things.
#18 Stephen King – “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” Reading is the key to honing you craft and exceeding what you first thought was doable.
#19 Mark Twain – “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.” Great advice if you’re susceptible to using words unnecessarily.
And last but not least…
#20 Benjamin Franklin – “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” What a perfect note to end on. Now go forth and make 2020 count.
Writing is my passion. These quotes have inspired me to work harder, read more (not that I needed an excuse) and to start something – even if I think it’s tricky. Good luck fellow writers and have a wonderful New Year!