To writers, words are everything. We live them, we breathe them. We try to change the world and inspire emotional revelations with every flip of the pen and tap of the keys. Writers are suckers for words. So naturally, writers are also suckers for a good old-fashioned inspirational writing quote.
Favorite writing quotes and inspirational phrases have the power to change your life. They can turn into a mantra by which you center your career around, or serve as an affirmation for when times are tough. Maybe one quote, in particular, sits in the back of your head at all times or hangs on a printed canvas above your desk. It doesn’t even matter if the quote was said by a famous author or Joe Schmo at the gas station– quotes are undeniably powerful tools.
With another new year of writing ahead, some of you may have already set your goals and intentions (or maybe not). The question is: How will you stay motivated? Our answer: picking favorite writing quotes for the year.
If you don’t have a quote to push you through the next 12 months already, here are some top picks from our Admin Team we’d be happy to share.
“Be willing to recalibrate. Why don’t you want to write that scene? What happens if you do? Why is it painful?”- Neil Gaiman
I have a long list of scenes I need to go back and write for my WIP, but I tend to look the other way when I notice them. This week I opened one to jot a note that I didn’t think I wanted to use it anymore, but I ended up writing it anyway, just to see what would happen. It turned out so great that now I want to use it after all!- Susan Semadeni
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”- George Bernard Shaw
I’ve been in a cycle of ‘finding myself’ for decades. Trying to seek out my voice, my purpose, the skill that will finally turn into a career. But this year, I’m just going to live my life the way I dream it. No more excuses for why I can’t or reasons not to write. I’m going to start my life journey as a creative individual and stop trying to be something I’m not. What have I got to lose?- Shell Sherwood
“Write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.” – Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman provides a proverbial treasure trove of inspiring and encouraging quotes, but I think this is the one I need to focus on the most as I set out to work on new projects. I get so tripped up on making sure I follow all the rules that I lose sight of getting it done at all. For now, I just need to write the story. Nothing else really matters. – Sarah Logan
“Just write it, who cares if no one buys it. It was inside you to give and once you do that part it’s not up to you to decide how it affects people.” -Rob Bell
I heard this in a podcast back in 2020. And that day I pulled out my laptop and wrote for the first time in years something that wasn’t a journal entry.- Emmy Seal
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” —Maya Angelou
There is no day like today to tell your story. Wherever you are, whoever you are, whatever story lives inside you.. it needs to be written. There is someone out there who needs to read it and feel seen. –Holly Catherine
“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” – Ray Bradbury
The world is hard. Life is relentless and even the good or mundane can be overwhelming and devastating. I started writing simply to make sense of it all. To numb some of the brutality. There is healing that comes from processing the clutter that bangs around endlessly in my brain through poetry and stories and songs. Once I give my pain to the paper the problem no longer belongs to me. Blurring reality with a dose of romantic ideation is a drug. It is how I survive. – Allie Gravitt
“The first draft of anything is s**t.”- Ernest Hemingway
We as authors try so hard to get it perfect the first time. It won’t be perfect, it will most likely be utter trash. But, that’s where the magic happens. When you can go back through and shape it to your vision like a potter shaping clay. Start with s*** and turn it into gold. –Rose Jay Rigby
“Write what should not be forgotten.” – Isabel Allende
I worry, a lot, about everything. I care about what others may think, even if on the surface I know I shouldn’t. For too long, I let that dictate what I was willing to take chances on. I didn’t want to fail or look foolish. I worried others would ridicule me and my words. I was willing to stay quiet to avoid feeling uncomfortable. And because of that, I gained nothing. I achieved nothing. When I stumbled across this quote I decided to latch on and make it my mantra. It gave me the courage to risk failing because risking nothing was worse. I still worry about how my words will be received and judged, that fear has not vanished, but now I can temper my anxiety with the knowledge that by just trying, I have achieved something great.- Jill Robinson
“To me, the single biggest mark of the amateur writer is a sense of hurry. Hurry to finish a manuscript, hurry to edit it, hurry to publish it.”- Charles Finch
This quote hurt my feelings when I first read it. The longer I sat with it, though, the more I realized how true it is. When I started writing, my focus was on the ending of things: the finished draft, the perfect agent, the signed book. I sprinted toward those goals, as fast as I could. I needed the validation of those major mile-markers to give myself permission to feel like a real writer. What happened when those things didn’t happen as quickly as I wanted? I felt like a failure like I wasn’t good enough like I wasn’t a real writer. Seasons of sprinting are fine — good, even — but in order to be a successful writer in the long term, I need to slow down to marathon speeds. Learning how to delight in the process, how to revel in the unfinished, makes me a better writer — less amateur, a word at a time.- Abby Harding
Have any favorite writing quotes of your own?
Do you have a favorite writing quote? Drop it below or share your favorite quote on our Facebook page to inspire others. We can’t wait to hear from you.