I love the power of quotes.
When I was going through infertility, I bought a magnet that said “Put your big girl panties on and deal with it.” A vase on a kitchen windowsill simply states “Feel.” And on my refrigerator is one from Goethe, on the front of a card my husband gave me when I was being tested for lupus and we were unsure I’d be able to make our long-planned climb the next month up Mt. Kilimanjaro: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
Though not necessarily meant for authors, the quotes that catch my attention easily apply to how I’m feeling as I sit down to work on my book on any given day. (Just yesterday, worried about the toll work deadlines will take for the next month on my weekly word-count goals, I underlined something actress Camryn Manheim said in a letter she wrote nearly 10 years ago to her younger self: “No one can spar with your confidence. You are the only one who can defeat it.”)
As a writer, I’ve amassed many books on the craft, and every now and then I grab one off the shelf, flip to a random page, and get inspired by a sentence or two that, somehow, I seem to need to hear in that moment. Here are a few of my recent favorites:
“Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties.” –Bonnie Friedman, Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction, and Other Dilemmas in the Writer’s Life
“Your freedom as a writer is not freedom of expression in the sense of wild blurting; you may not let rip. It is life at its most free, if you are fortunate enough to be able to try it, because you select your materials, invent your task, and pace yourself.” –Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
“One thing we can probably agree on is that the truth, however we define it, is often hard to tell. It can be hard to tell the facts of the story, and it can be hard to tell its emotional truth too.” –Judith Barrington, Writing the Memoir
“In order to write freely, we must be willing to write less formally. We must allow our writing to be a process that helps us to process.” –Julia Cameron, The Writer’s Life: Insights from The Right to Write
“What writing practice, like Zen practice, does is bring you back to the natural state of mind, the wilderness of your mind where there are no refined rows of gladiolas.” –Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life
What quotes inspire you? Please share!