I can't believe it's February already, as January went by in a blur, but it's great to have another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. As always, thanks for Alex J. Cavanaugh for hosting the group and coming up with this wonderful idea in the first place!
I've been hibernating in my writing cave for the past week or so, as I'm so close to finishing the first draft of my WIP that I can taste it, and I really want to focus on that until I get it done. I'm excited about finally making it to the finish line but, given the pervasive nature of my insecurities, reaching this point has caused my internal critic to rear up and show her ugly head with even more regularity. I'm constantly thinking that I'll never actually finish and, even if I do, the draft will surely be the single worst thing anyone has ever produced in the history of the written word.
In my ongoing efforts to banish this internal hag and get back to business, I've always found it helpful to read advice from writers I admire for both their success and their writing ability. I thought for this month's meeting, I would share some of my favorite writing quotes. I find them inspiring not only because some of them show that even the most successful authors have their own battles with insecurity, but also because they help to remind me why we all throw ourselves into this writing world in spite of all the challenges that go along with it.
If you're struggling with your own internal critic or ever feeling like throwing in the writing towel, I hope these quotes will inspire you as well.
“E.L. Doctorow said once said that 'Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.' You don't have to see where you're going, you don't have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice on writing, or life, I have ever heard.” ~ Anne Lamott
“Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.” ~ Neil Gaiman
“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” ~ Stephen King
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ~ Sylvia Plath
“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.” ~ Anne Lamott
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” ~ Maya Angelou
“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard.” ~ Neil Gaiman
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
"You fail only if you stop writing." ~ Ray Bradbury
“Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” ~ Anton Chekhov
Finally, this is my favorite quote at the moment. Very simple, but it's something I always need to tell myself.
“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” ~ Stephen King
Happy February, and here's to a great writing month for all of us. :)