As anyone taking part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) would know, it’s November! A time for novelists to cry, celebrate, and connect. I myself am taking part and needed a little motivation so I went to Pinterest and started looking at motivational quotes. Many of which were excellent to explain the writing process.
So I collected some quotes that I felt represented the writing journey. Some of these are motivational for when you feel like quitting or just need some encouragement to start. Some of them are about the creative process and are geared more to be advice. Some of them I just thought are important to share especially during NaNo. Now without further ado and in no particular order, the quotes:
1. “Creativity is a combination of discipline and a childlike spirit.” – Robert Greene
Obviously writing is a creative medium. For me, this quote is most important because I’ve had periods of my life where I’m writing every day and other times when I only write on occasion. I find a big difference in my creativity when I’m writing every day and when I’m not. When I write every day it becomes easier and easier to think about what I’m going to write next. On a separate note, if you want to make a career out of writing, you have to have discipline. If you can’t write regularly, you are never going to finish what you are writing. You might, but it’s unlikely, and you have to have the discipline to stick to one project.
2. “Write like it matters, and it will” – Libba Bray
One of the biggest things for me about writing is writing with purpose, writing is something I do because I feel it has a purpose. There’s a reason I write, I genuinely feel that I need this book. It is the book I wish I could have read when I was younger. The book matters and that’s why I’m compelled to continue to write.
3. “Don’t stop until you’re proud” – Unknown
This is just great advice for any part of the writing process. Don’t stop writing for the day until you’re proud. Don’t stop editing until you’re proud. Don’t stop writing in life until you’re proud of all you’ve done. Every day, go to bed feeling like you’ve accomplished something.
4. “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will” – Suzy Kassem
If you’re anything like me you probably have had days when you doubt you will ever be a published author, or finishing your novel, or whatever your dream is. But not doing something because you’re afraid of failing is worse than actually failing. Because you did fail, even before you tried to succeed.
5. “Mistakes are proof that you’re trying” – Unknown
The great thing about NaNoWriMo is that it encourages you to suck. That may be counter-intuitive. You may be thinking “Grace, if I suck I’ll never get published”, now that is true, but the point of NaNo isn’t to produce a book that’s ready to be published. It’s to write the first draft. A first draft is not going to be perfect, you’re going to make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and to continue to grow as a writer.
6. “We rise by lifting others” – Robert G. Ingersoll
I think this is a really important quote because every now and then I come across a writer putting down another writer. Usually, it’s an older writer putting down a new, young, “aspiring” writer. I have learned so much from older writers and I have also learned so much from newer writers. You know why? There are always things you haven’t explored when you’re being creative and new writers can help you explore new things, just like older writers can help you do the same. Also as a note: I’m saying older and younger as years being serious about writing. For example, I started writing regularly at the age of fourteen so I am currently four.
7. “Don’t call it a dream, call it a plan” – Unknown
One of the biggest turning points in my life was when I stopped calling writing a dream and started calling it my future and present. It was the moment that I started writing all the time, the moment I had found my purpose. And it was the moment that I started to get support from the people around me. People who encouraged me to pursue my dream and that has made all the difference.
8. “Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow” – Unknown
This one isn’t for what you’re writing, it’s for those days of procrastination. Day’s when you need something to get you to write. So ask yourself this, “are you moving closer to achieving your dreams?” Even if not all that you write ends up being published it is still writing and still a learning experience. So all and any writing is getting you closer, only not writing holds you back.
9. “Slow progress is better than no progress” – Unknown
Everyone writes at different speeds. If you can’t write 50 000 words in a month or whatever else you’re trying to do, it’s okay, just so long as you are writing. The most important thing is that you are making progress on your project.
10. “When you feel like quitting think about why you started” – Unknown
Sometimes I think I’ll just stop writing. Why not? It just takes up my life and makes me space out a lot. But I can’t stop, and when I feel like that I have to remember, I write because I can’t do anything else. It is the thing I love most. I used to think I would never find my dream job, but I did. When you feel like quitting just remember why you started. For me, it’s because I love it.
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Hey everyone! I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year. You can check out my Twitter or Instagram for updates. You can also subscribe to my blog via email at the top of the sidebar for updates when I post or like my Facebook page.