Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group

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. :)


  1. "One true sentence" - love it. Thanks for sharing the quotes!

  2. Great quotes and quite inspirational! Thanks for sharing them. :)

  3. Love these, Julie, especially the two from Neil Gaiman and the last one from Stephen King. I'm going to add those three to my collection.

    And you know how much I love a good, positive, inspiring quote - Motivational Mondays, whoo hoo! :)

  4. These are great quotes - thanks for sharing!

  5. YOU WILL!!

    You are so close. Very exciting. And I don't know about you, but I sort of enjoy the revision process once the first draft is laid out. It's long and monotonous some days, but that's where you really get to crank up the attitude of the novel.

    Yay, I'm so happy you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  6. We can beat down the internal hag! Lol. And thank you for the inspiring quotes. Those always seem to kick my butt in gear :)

  7. @Siv, I'm glad you liked them!

    @Tonja, you're welcome, I really love that one too.

    @Cherie, you're welcome!

    @Madeline, oh, that's right, I just realized I missed your Motivational Monday this week. Need to get caught up. I love all the motivation I can get. :) Thanks!

    @Tasha, I'm so glad you liked them!

    @Brinda, me too! :)

    @LG, thanks!! I am very excited and I've no doubt the revision will be a pain but it's fun to get to this point. I know I will do a happy dance when I get done! :)

    @Cassie, LOL, that hag needs to get her butt kicked alot. I'm so glad you liked the quotes and found them inspiring!

  8. Really good quotes, thanks for sharing,


  9. Those quotes were just what I needed today! The January blues haven't left me yet. Thanks!

  10. I'm not sure anyone in our time has ever produced a good first draft. The computer makes it easy to make changes. Keep writing. You can fix a bad first draft.

  11. These are terrific quotes :)

    Sadly, my internal coward is still in the ascendancy!

    Good for you, Julie. Keep on with keeping on x

  12. All of those quotes are great. I love Ray Bradbury's.

    Don't think about the critic/etc... just finish. Editing, etc... is for draft #2. But don't think about it yet. My advice: when you finish this draft, put it down for a few weeks, 4-6, before starting the revisions. Let yourself wallow in the victory of finishing the first draft.

    Congratulations! Woot!

  13. thanks for the great, inspiring quotes! can always use wise words!

  14. Great quotes! Thanks for sharing them. I especially liked the one from E.L. Doctorow about the headlights. And I always find King encouraging.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 A-to-Z Challenge!

  15. Hi Julie!

    I wandered over from Alex's blog :DI love these quotes! Very inspirational. I have Sylvia Plath's on my sidebar and the two by Stephen King have really kicked my pants this morning!

    Thanks for sharing,

  16. Love those quotes. That Chekhov one is my favourite. True genius.

  17. Thank you for these quotes. I needed to read them.

  18. @Yvonne, you're welcome, I'm glad you liked them. :)

    @Linda, Oh, I'm sorry you are having trouble getting rid of the January blues. I'm glad if these quotes helped!

    @Carol, I'm counting on that, thanks! I know I have tons to fix but I'm thrilled to at least have the basic story down.

    @Carolyn, oh, knock that coward down to size! I know what you mean though, sometimes they just keep hanging around. Thanks!!

    @Mary, thanks for the advice! I think that is what I will do as far as letting the draft go for a while, if nothing else it will give my critic a rest ha. Thank you!

    @Tara, you're welcome, I feel the same, I can always use some inspiration. :)

    @Shannon, I know, I loved the Doctorow too and I had never seen that one before. Love King as well. Glad you liked the quotes!

    @Jen, hi, thanks for coming by! I'm so glad the quotes kicked your pants, that's what they did for me too. Great to meet you!

    @Rosalind, isn't that great? I just love it, so perfect.

    @Kara, oh, you're welcome, I'm glad they were helpful!

  19. Anne Lamott is my favorite, and I'm in awe of Maya Angelou. All of these quotes inspire. Thanks, Julie.

  20. I love writing quotes! They're so inspiring and remind me I have something in common with the masters - we all have trouble with the craft.

  21. @Susan, you're welcome, glad you liked them!

    @Robyn, I agree completely, I love Anne Lamott, and Maya Angelou is simply amazing. Thanks!

    @Gwen, I love them too, I am a quote addict ha. Glad you liked them!

  22. wonderful quotes. the perfect words to end the week with :)

    Happy weekend!

  23. @Nutschell, so glad you liked them. Happy weekend to you as well! :)


Thank you for your comments!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.