Toolbox 13: Quotes to Inspire

This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.


Right now I should be writing this for the IWSG but alas that isn’t for weeks and I need a post now. I threw away my original post and thought, instead of going on and on about my dry research, I’d dive in to what inspires me most—other writers.

As I read, I remember they started as we did: knowing nothing, learning the craft and taking a chance.

“If I waited for perfection… I would never write a word.”
—Margaret Atwood

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”
William Faulkner

“I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of. ”
— Joss Whedon

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”
–Anne Frank

“I really think that if there’s any one enemy to human creativity, especially creative writing, it’s self-consciousness.”
—Andre Dubus III

And one to inspire Easter eggs hunts

“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and overagain, there is no use in reading it at all.”
—Oscar Wilde

As you may have guessed, I’m starting something new. I’m taking chances and trying my hand at a magical realism mystery. What was I thinking, is what I’m thinking right now. Please add your favorite, if you have one, in the comments.


34 responses to “Toolbox 13: Quotes to Inspire

  1. I like the Oscar Wilde one – there are some books that I could read over and over and over again. All the best with the magical realism mystery. Sounds fun 🙂

    • It has been fun. My feelings are running amok. I’m sitting on my inbox waiting to be rejected by my most loved agents and telling myself, no news is good news. But is it? Is it? ;-p

  2. I like Nora Roberts wise observation–“You can’t edit a blank page.”

  3. Definitely inspiration quotes. I’m doing editing today (as well as a doctor appointment) so I needed this lift.

  4. I love Anne Frank. Just the sight of her name gives me the chills though. Have a great rest of
    Your day my friend 🙂

  5. Anne Frank is my favorite. My stories also take me away from my real life troubles, as do the books I read. Good luck with your new story.

  6. “Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.” —Thomas Edison
    I like this one. Read it in a book about habits and training the subconscious to work for you not against you.

  7. A lovely post and crossing my fingers for your newest series!

  8. Wow. I love all of these quotes. I would say the first four really resonated with me. 🙂

  9. Stephen King has so many good quotes.

    Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.

    Fiction is the truth inside the lie.

    Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.

    Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.

    The scariest moment is always just before you start.

    Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.

    Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.

  10. Love the Whedon quote! And JH mentioned one of my favorite King quotes, the one about talent and hard work. 🙂

    Good luck on your new project!

  11. Found this one on Twitter this morning:

    I don’t care whether the story is real or fantastical. I tell the story that needs to be told.
    -Jane Yolen

  12. Great quotes! I love them all. My favorite is always the Maya Angelou one about inspiration: “What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat,’…. And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.'”

  13. The Margaret Atwood quote is great, as well as the Stephen King quotes. Another favorite of mine is Terry Pratchett – “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” I have it taped to my screen.

  14. Best of luck with the magical realism! I’m trying to think up quotes right now, but I’m coming up blank. But at least you have some good ones!

  15. That Margaret Atwood quote is everything!

  16. I really like Faulkner’s quote. Thanks for sharing.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  17. Great quotes 🙂
    My favourite is the one from Whedon, particularly ‘I write to be the characters that I am not.’ It really sums up one of the main reasons I write!

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