Ahh… writers we have a love of words. They take us on a journey into untold worlds, they fuel our imaginations, they lift us up and make us swoon with desire… that we may be able to write to make others stop everything even if only for a moment. To stop everything and be wholly in the universe of letters we string together… to touch some part of people’s hearts wounded, or aching, or yearning for that moment to be fully present and lost in a dream of what could be all at the same time.
Maybe even just for a chuckle, a smile, a subtle lift at the corners of the mouth and a brief twinkle in the eyes. A sigh, an aha, a respite. A moment when everything shifts into a new perspective. Sweetness. A whisper in the dark. The ground beneath moves. Passion invigorating movement. Stillness.
Writers love to invent, weave, dream, communicate. We write because we need to. It’s something we must do, because not to is death to our soul. But occasionally our muse slips away, and we find our inspiration waning, our mind’s sleepy and lethargic. During times like this a collection of inspirational quotes from other writers who’ve gone before us, who’ve likely experienced the emptiness too could be just the thing we need to get our juices flowing again.
Here are some of my favourite quotes about writing to help put the pen back in your hand, or fingers to the keyboard with renewed passion.
“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.”
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”
“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”
“Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.”
—Rainer Maria Rilke
“A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends.”
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
“If there’s a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
“For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.”
—Catherine Drinker Bowen
“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”
“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”
“The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.”
“If a story is in you, it has to come out.”
“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.”
“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
“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 worse enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.”
“That’s the thing about books, they let you travel without moving your feet.”
“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
“I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I am afraid of.”
“If it’s still in your mind it is worth taking the risk.”
“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.”
“If I waited for perfection I would never write a word.”
“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”
“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”
“I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.”
—Pearl S. Buck
“You can’t blame a writer for what the characters say.”
“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”
“There is no denying the wild horse in us.”
“No need to force yourself to do something the “right way” if it’s not your right way. Your job is to honor your process.”
—Andi Cumbo Floyd
“Give me books, fruit, French wine, fine weather and a little music.”
“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.”
“If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things.”
“I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.”
– Ernest Hermingway
Do you have any favourites you’d like to add? Please comment and share!
I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.
~ Jeremiah 24:7
This. Right. There. If we but cut out the noise in the world, and tuned in to this whisper. It changes everything.
I felt it as a child. Moments of the touch of grace. In the spaces… in the pauses… in the empty. The promise of something… but what I couldn’t hear.
What I knew with certainty was that it was different than everything else. How could I live it, I couldn’t know.
But, it was there, always there… softly… quietly… like a flutter… a touch… of another living voice.
It felt like both something inside me, and somehow also in the spaces around me.
I felt it in the longing to know it, to understand it, to feel it… in the wanting for it to live me.
You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
~ Psalm 63:1
When the new age philosophies captured my attention, I thought God was there. I fell for the promises, the lure of transformation and transcendence. But, nothing was real or sustaining. The promises were just that… promises that kept being broken… always in the tomorrow… that never comes.
I grew tired of the false promises… of the never-ending cycles of the sun, the moon, the stars, which I gave my power to… in the name of ascension.
I longed for something real… something sustaining… something that would fill me up day after day.
After so many years, two decades of these empty promises, when Jesus began to call for me it was confusing. Head shaking confusing. Yet, I felt His urgency. He wanted me. He wouldn’t give up. He wouldn’t leave me in the empty another day.
When I finally arrived… when I finally landed in His Church, in His Body I wanted to fall to my knees. His presence so filling… so over-filling it wracked me with sobs.
The beauty so immense. It stirred memories of moments of this grace… what my whole life longing amounted to… that space inside me that wanted to be lived.
The longing that lacked a name.
Blocked by the every dayness of living… and not listening.
Many months later, studying scripture, miraculous blessings upon blessings through the power of prayer and grace, baptism… the living waters… singing worship songs still threaten to overflow in a fountain of tears.
My beautiful sister-in-law and sister-in-Christ standing beside me, takes my hand tightly and whispers, “I can feel God’s Presence… here… with… us.”
The child in me remembers. YES.
That’s IT. The sudden realization. It’s God’s Presence… that I feel in those moments.
His ever loving… ever faithful… Presence.
I vow to remember. Always remember. Forever and ever.
“O beloved, why has not Love sufficiently overwhelmed you and engulfed you in her abyss? Alas! when Love is so sweet, why do you not fall deep into her? And why do you not touch God deeply enough in the abyss of his Nature, which is so unfathomable? Sweet love, give yourself for Love’s sake fully to God in love.” ~ Hadewijch, 13th-century Belgian Beguine poet and mystic
Not my strength. But His.
Not my will. But His.
Ever deeper into this Love.
Dear little one,
The world is going to try to tell you so many things about yourself, so many things it doesn’t know anything about. It’s going to try to mold you, to think certain things are important, and it’s going to make you feel like you must conform to belong.
I want for you to know who you are, who you really are. That something that you feel inside you… it’s God’s presence and he will never fail you if you listen to him.
He knew everything about you before you were even born, because you were first a thought in his great almighty mind and then he created you with a plan to live a life in his name, as a reflection of his glory. He knew what he had in mind when he knitted you together in the dark womb of your mother.
You know those times when you feel your precious little heart pulsing for something you can’t see, so much so, that you almost ache in the wanting to know it, in the feelings that grow so big that you think you’re going to cry in the longing beauty of it? Those… right there will tell you more about yourself and who you are and how to live in the world than anyone else can.
Because it’s such a big part of who you are, it’s going to make you feel so different from other people. But, it’s how God made you, it’s this that you must listen to. Know yourself, know your heart and your mind.
Write about it. You were born to write about it… and to share the fruits of what God communicates through your feelings and thoughts when you write. The aching yearning beauty of what you feel and what you hear when you listen. There are so many people who are suffering in the world and they too ache to be uplifted, to feel the presence of God reaching out to them… to be encouraged to find their own truth. This is a gift God has given to you, so enjoy it fully… share it fully… with all your heart… and do it boldly.
Write because you want to… write because you need to… because it’s such a big part of what makes you come alive… because writing is how you explore your thoughts and ideas in a way that gets to the real you, and don’t give up even if you experience disappointment… even if it seems like you are failing at it… or even if no one reads it… keep at it. Write, write, write because gifts need to be refined, they need practice to be developed and to get better and better with time.
Do this and you will please God and you will please yourself. The most important things that you can do are those that are pleasing to God; be the truth that he created in you, be love, be kindness, be forgiveness, be faithful and be these things with your whole heart and soul and mind, in the way that is unique to you… your own special way.
If you listen to the ways of others over what you know to be true to yourself, you’ll never feel good enough, you’ll never know who you really are and all that God had in mind for you. You’ll be pulled in different directions and you’ll lose sight of what it is to be loved. Without God as your source of strength you’ll never feel right in yourself or in the world.
But you know what, precious? Even if you falter, even if you forget… or even if you lose your way, God is always with you and he will find a way to bring you back into his loving arms. Know that you are his… know that you are loved by him… always and forever.
With abiding love,
Ah… there’s probably so many pieces of advice we could give ourselves, this is one little bit that’s been encouraging me to revive my love of writing for a couple of years now. I’m so guilty of having given it up because I felt disappointed that life didn’t hand me all that I hoped for in my first years of writing. What about you? What would you write to your younger self or your kids?
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