Inspiration for Writers … from Writers
One thing that has helped me hugely in my writing career is reading the advice of other writers on writing. So much so that I recently created a workshop for my writing group around some of my favourite quotes from writers.
It prompted such a great discussion that I thought I’d share the quotes, along with my writing prompts, here.
Have a read through first, then free-write on the prompts to be fully inspired.
The Artist’s Journey by Steven Pressfield
“You are an artist, whether you realise it or not – and you have an artist’s journey. Will you live it out? Will you follow your Muse and do the work you were born to do?’
- How could you value yourself more as an artist?
- What is the work that you were born to do?
“The artist is being driven from a far deeper and more primal source than the conscious intellect. The artist is not expressing him/herself. He/she is discovering herself.”
- What have you discovered about yourself through your writing?
- Have their been any surprises?
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
“I believe that our planet is inhabited not only by animals and plants and bacteria and viruses but also by ideas. Ideas are disembodied energetic life-form. They are completely separate from us, but capable of interacting with us.”
- Free-write about an idea you have. What does it want to tell you?
- Why has it chosen you to write it?
Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
“If you are writing without zest, without gusto, without love, without fun, you are only half a writer.”
- What have you most loved writing?
- What made it so enjoyable?
- How could you bring some of that zest to your current work-in-progress or next piece of work?
On Writing by Stephen King
“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, 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.”
- How can your writing enrich others?
- How can it enrich your own life too?
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
- Which books and writers have inspired you to write? And why?
- Who could you read more of for inspiration?
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life and is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft … Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts.”
- What’s the worst that can happen if you write a shitty first draft?
- How could you help yourself evade the oppressor, perfectionism?
“You probably won’t know your characters until weeks of months after you’ve started working with them. Just don’t pretend you know more about your characters than they do, because you don’t. Stay open to them. Listen. It’s that simple.”
- Pick a character from your work in progress and free-write from their point of view
- What do they want to tell you about themselves?
The Right to Write by Julia Cameron
“The myth that we must have time – more time – in order to create us a myth that keeps us from using the time we do have.”
- How can you squeeze in the time to write?
- Try finding 20 minutes a day for fully focused writing with no distractions. It’s amazing how much you can get done this way.
I hope you found this useful and I’d love to know how you get on in the comments.
Which quote was the most helpful for you?
Did any of them provide a breakthrough?
If you’re interested in working with me on a one-to-one basis as your writing coach click here to find out more.
And you can find out more about my own book on writing, Dare to Write a Novel, here.