Writing Inspiration: 8 Essential Quotes for authors

It's always interesting to me to see where different creative types find their inspiration. After a long day of songwriting, does a country music singer turn on the radio and listen to country...or do they listen to classical or jazz? What about painters? What kind of artwork do they hang on their studio walls?

For most authors I know, reading and writing go hand in hand. We might read outside the genre we write in (I certainly do) but there's no denying the power of words. After I finish reading a fabulous book, I'm more motivated than ever to get back to writing my own stories. Then, after a long writing session, I can't wait to unwind by reading a good book. It's a vicious cycle (and I love every second of it!)

Sadly, I don't always have time to dive into a novel before I get to work. I think that's why I've become a bit of a quote collector. If I only have a few minutes to read before it's time to start writing, a collection of inspirational quotes helps me kick it into gear.

For today's writing inspiration, I'm sharing eight quotes that always motivate me to put pen to paper.

Getting Started

This quote by Toni Morrison is really special to me. Reluctant Cassandra was exactly the book I wanted to read at the time I was writing it. This idea is what inspired me to keep writing the first draft all the way to the end - I wanted to see what would happen! My current work-in-progress is unfolding the same way. I really want to read this story, so I have to write it!

If there's ever any doubt about where to go next with a story, there's this advice from Ray Bradbury. I like to have a little bit of a plan before I sit down to write, but overthinking can keep me from actually committing words to paper.

There's also this gem from Ernest Hemingway.

Leave it to Hemingway to get to the heart of writing. If it's not authentic, I'm probably going to have to edit or delete it later. Might as well cut to the chase and start by writing one true, honest sentence after another.

Like Hemingway, Beatrix Potter is an author I tend to put on a pedestal. Whenever I see her thoughts on writing, I snap to attention! Finding out that we feel the same way at the beginning of a story put a huge smile on my face. Naturally, I had to save this quote!

Staying Motivated

After the initial rush of starting a new story is gone, sometimes I need a little inspiration to keep going. Inertia usually hits at about 10,000 words into a novel or after two hours of work on a shorter project. This short quote from Margaret Atwood reminds me to stay the course. Just goes to show that we all work the same way: one word at a time.

I also like this thought from literary great William Faulkner. I "am" a writer every second of my day, but if I'm not physically writing, I'm not moving forward. This quote always motivates me to get to work and put words on the page.

Sharing Your Work With The Rest Of The World

Eventually, I might get to the point where I like what I've written...but then it's time to decide whether I'm ready to share it. I don't know if there's ever a point where saying "Hey, want to read this thing I wrote?" is easy to do. Whenever I'm about to email a draft to my critique partners or share a blog post, I still hold my breath and cross my fingers before I hit "send." I take a little inspiration from one of my favorite writers, Erma Bombeck:

It also helps to remember that there's a reason that I'm a writer and a reason that I choose to share and publish my work. After all, there's other jobs I could do. I could decide to only write in my diary and never share anything I write. If I ever feel doubtful about what my purpose is, I like to read this quote from E. B. White:

That's what it's all about, isn't it? Writers write so that we can connect with others. It's not the easiest journey, but drawing inspiration from other authors can help along the way.  

Are you a writer (or other creative type)? What inspires you to create? Let me know in the comments!