Sometimes, writing can suck.
You’re sitting there, staring at a blank screen, trying to figure out what to say.
Or you’re in the middle of your story or article, trying to wrangle your ideas into coherent words, but they JUST. WON’T. COOPERATE.
Or you’re agonizing over your heart-breakingly silent blog, wondering where all your readers are.
At such times, it’s easy to forget why you’re a writer in the first place.
It’s easy to forget the rush you feel when your ideas tumble out of your head onto the page like a waterfall, the grin that comes to your face when you FINALLY nail that article or story, the burst of joy when someone tells you that your article touched their lives.
But those things DO happen. (You know, occasionally. They do.)
That is why you keep writing.
That, and it’s just too much fun complaining about bleeding veins, beluga whale paintings and bleeping Brooklyn Bridge millionaires to clueless friends and relatives (“what does beluga whale painting have to do with writing?”) to give this up.
So to you writers who feel a bit worn out, who miss the spark of life and humor, who want to put a little more spunk into your writing:
This is for you.
There’s not much more for me to say, so I’ll get out of the way and let the experts entertain you:
I was sorry to hear my name mentioned as one of the great authors, because they have a sad habit of dying off. Chaucer is dead, so is Milton, so is Shakespeare, and I am not feeling very well myself.
– Mark Twain
It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.
– Robert Benchley
Never, ever use repetitive redundancies. Don’t use no double negatives. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
– William Safire
An autobiography usually reveals nothing bad about its writer except his memory.
– Franklin P. Jones
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
– Christopher Hampton
Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
– Dr. Samuel Johnson, to an aspiring writer
There’s not much to be said about the period except that most writers don’t reach it soon enough.
– William Zinsser
I try to leave out the parts that people skip.
– Elmore Leonard
It takes an awful lot of time to not write a book.
– Douglas Adams
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
— Douglas Adams
The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.
— Robert Benchley
There are two kinds of people who sit around all day thinking about killing people…mystery writers and serial killers. I’m the kind that pays better.
— Richard Castle
Being an author is being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.
– Terri Guillemets
A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the other one.
– Baltasar Gracian
Write a wise saying and your name will live forever.
Other than the physical act of putting pen to paper, I can’t think of another more important job duty of the writer than to stare wistfully out a window.
– Terri Guillemets
We writers are a comical bunch, are we not?
I’m so inspired to be a member of such a quirky, sarcastic, self-deprecating group of repetitively redundant asylum-leaders, it makes me want to write a wise saying!
…But since I can’t think of one off the top of my head, I suppose I’ll do the next best thing and “stare wistfully out a window.”
(But all jokes aside, there were some real gold nuggets of solid writing advice in the above quotes. Did you catch them?)
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