I’m in the midst of writing my second novel at the moment, and this process is so wonderful and awful at the same time. It helps to hear from famous authors and to know that I’m not alone in this process. So I looked up various quotes on writing to reassure me, and I hope that this helps you, too.
1. “Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.” – Zadie Smith
2. “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway
3. “A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.” – Mark Twain
4. “I delete about 90 percent of my first drafts … so it doesn’t really matter much if on a particular day I write beautiful and brilliant prose that will stick in the minds of my readers forever, because there’s a 90 percent chance I’m just gonna delete what I write anyway. I find this hugely liberating.” – John Green
5. “What terrified me will terrify others; and I need only describe the spectre which had haunted my midnight pillow.” – Mary Shelley
6. “Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have ‘essential’ and ‘long overdue’ meetings on those days. [. . . ] Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up with mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg.” – J. K. Rowling
7. “When you start off, you have to deal with the problems of failure. You need to be thickskinned, to learn that not every project will survive.” – Neil Gaiman
8. “I write because it’s a way of puzzling out answers to situations in the world that I don’t understand. The act of writing a book gives me the same experience that I hope reading it gives readers. It forces me to sort through the various points of view on a given issue or situation and ultimately come to a conclusion. Doing that might not change my mind, but it almost always gives me a stronger sense of why my opinion is what it is – a question we rarely ask ourselves.” – Jodi Picoult
9. “Conflict and character are the heart of good fiction, and good mystery has both of those in spades.” – Diana Gabaldon
10. “The true genius shudders at incompleteness – and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not everything it should be.” – Edgar Allan Poe
Buy The Essential Grammar Handbook, an ebook based on my experiences as a high school English teacher. For just $10, you can dramatically improve your writing, and therefore your life. It contains rules, explanations, examples, and practice.
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