“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
This Benjamin Franklin quote is one of my all-time favorites. It’s a huge reminder to me as a writer to never stop living my life (and then writing about it).
And this sentence of wisdom, along with a few others, can occasionally keep me going when I question why I do what I do (which is write obsessively, voraciously and adoringly). So, to all of the other writers out there needing a little boost of encouragement or a tiny sign of synchronicity that what you do does indeed matter, here you go.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
“The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary.” ~ J.K. Rowling
I love this J.K. Rowling quote because my degree is in geology—I absolutely relate to her simple love of literature and prose as inspiration enough to write myself bare.
Another quote I find solace in is the following by Maya Angelou.
Personally, I’m often told that my writing is easy to read. At first I took this as an insult as I love to play with my word usage and even the way that the words sound and flow together, from paragraph to paragraph—this “easy” reading was not always “easy” to create.
That said, here’s a wonderful take on this idea, if you, too, love to create “easy-to-read” writing.
“Easy reading is damn hard writing. But if it’s right, it’s easy. It’s the other way round, too. If it’s slovenly written, then it’s hard to read. It doesn’t give the reader what the careful writer can give the reader.” ~ Maya Angelou
“You fail only if you stop writing.” ~ Ray Bradbury
I’ve got to be honest here: I don’t get writer’s block.
This isn’t to say that I don’t have blocks of inspiration and times when I just sit down and force myself to write for the practice of it alone. Still, I’ve realized that my best work often comes at two very different times: either when I feel on fire with inspiration or when I sit down and force myself to write.
I believe the latter is true because we, as writers, can really just allow the words to flow from wells we wouldn’t necessarily have tapped into if we had a specific goal in mind from the start.
In other words, always write.
Even if it’s a few words that trickle out slowly from your brain to your fingertips; words that might arrive through frustration or hesitation—write, write write.
“Good writing is like a windowpane.” ~ George Orwell
And to writers who want to write for views or success, I maintain firmly that this isn’t the correct line of work. Actually, I love how Stephen King expresses this:
“Like anything else that happens on its own, the act of writing is beyond currency. Money is great stuff to have, but when it comes to the act of creation, the best thing is not to think of money too much. It constipates the whole process.” ~ Stephen King
And, sometimes, fellow writers, we won’t please everyone.
We will unintentionally offend.
We will think something is hilarious that someone else either takes out of context or is ultra sensitive to.
And we will keep on writing anyways—but we’ll not forget the importance of our sense of humor.
So, I’ll leave you with this:
“Laurie got offended that I used the word “puke.” But to me, that’s what her dinner tasted like.” ~ Jack Handey
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Petra Bensted at Pixoto