The Reeve Show - Painting by Lizabeth

37 Unbeatable Quotes To Energise New Writers Into Action

“Writing is turning one’s worst moments into money.” ~ J. P. Donleavy

Being a new writer on Medium can be tough. You begin all enthusiastic, pumping out your first article, maybe a second, if ambitious even a third. Then the sound of crickets enters your head as you hit the mental brick wall of “I’ve run out of ideas”.

I felt somewhat like this earlier in the week after committing to myself that I would write five articles every seven days.

The first week started great.

I had Tony Robbins to perfect my power moves.

Bob Ross to whisper gentle words of encouragement in my ear.

Picasso to make me curiously happy.

A pair of unhappy ghosts who turned me into a paid content creator.

The Beatles to feed me doughnuts.

And Banksy to teach me how to collapse a box.

Then, I fell into a dribbling heap, with the sound of crickets echoing inside my head.

Luckily there have been buckets full of successful writers from all ages who have also hit a brick wall, and they’ve spoken and written words for people like you and me!

Here are some of my favourites which I thought you might enjoy:

“A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.”

~ Sidney Sheldon

Sheldon was an American writer, director, and producer. He’s known as one of the top ten best selling fiction writers of all time.

“There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.”

~ Sir Terry Pratchett OBE

Sir Terry was an English humorist, satirist and fantasy novelist who wrote over 70 books.

“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

Benchley was an American humorist who wrote for Vanity Fair and The New Yorker.

“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

~ Jodi Picoult

Picoult is an American writer who has published 26 novels and written several issues of Wonder Woman.

“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.

~ Orson Scott

Scott is an American novelist and public speaker who is fantastic at writing science fiction.

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”

~ Richard Bach

Bach is an American writer of fantasy and philosophy.

“People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.”

~ R.L. Stine

Stine is an American novelist, short story writer, television producer, screenwriter. He is known as the “Stephen King of children’s literature.”

“I only write when I’m inspired, so I see to it that I’m inspired every morning at nine o’clock.”

~ Peter De Vries

De Vries was an American editor, satirist and novelist. Philosopher Daniel Dennett called him the “funniest writer on religion ever.”

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

~ Douglas Adams

Adams was an English author who wrote the classic: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The English language is an arsenal of weapons. If you are going to brandish them without checking to see whether or not they are loaded, you must expect to have them explode in your face from time to time.”

~ Stephen Fry

Fry is an English actor, comedian and writer who played his idol Oscar Wilde in the film Wilde (1997).

“This morning I took out a comma and this afternoon I put it back again.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Wilde was an Irish poet and playwright. He wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol in 1898. It was a long poem about the harsh prison life he experienced after being convicted and jailed for being homosexual in late 1800s England.

“The best time to plan a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”

~ Dame Agatha Christie

Dame Agatha was an English writer known for her sixty-six detective novels and fourteen short story collections. She created the well-loved characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.

‘If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.’

~ Edgar Rice Burroughs

Burroughs was an American speculative fiction writer prolific in adventure, science fiction and fantasy.

Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the Internet.”

~ Anonymous

Obviously, someone who knows us well.

“I kept always two books in my pocket: one to read, one to write in.”

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet and travel writer. He wrote Treasure Island and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”

~ Madeleine L’Engle

L’Engle was an American writer of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and young adult fiction.

“Sometimes the ideas just come to me. Other times I have to sweat and almost bleed to make ideas come. It’s a mysterious process, but I hope I never find out exactly how it works. I like a mystery, as you may have noticed.”

~ J.K. Rowling

Rowling is a British writer and philanthropist. She has written some largely unknown books about a young wizard.

Writing is turning one’s worst moments into money.”

~ J. P. Donleavy

Donleavy was an Irish/American novelist and playwright. He wrote the novel The Ginger Man, which was initially banned for obscenity.

“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”

~ Robert Heinlein

Heinlein was an American science-fiction author, aeronautical engineer, and retired Naval officer. He was known as the “dean of science fiction writers”

“As for ‘Write what you know,’ I was regularly told this as a beginner. I think it’s a very good rule and have always obeyed it. I write about imaginary countries, alien societies on other planets, dragons, wizards, the Napa Valley in 22002. I know these things. I know them better than anybody else possibly could, so it’s my duty to testify about them.”

~ Ursula K. Le Guin

Le Guin was an American novelist and author of science fiction. She wrote the Earthsea fantasy series.

“I just sit at my typewriter and curse a bit.”

~ Sir P.G. Wodehouse KBE

Sir Wodehouse was an English author and one of the most widely read humorists of the 20th century.

If you wait for inspiration to write you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.”

~ Dan Poynter

Poynter was an American author, publisher and parachute designer. He wrote more than 130 books and over 800 magazine articles. Poynter would have enjoyed a fantastic career on Medium with that many articles under his belt.

“One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing — writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.”

~ Lawrence Block

Block is an American crime writer. He was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1994.

“You can fix anything but a blank page.”

~ Nora Roberts

Roberts is an American author of more than 225 romance novels and was the first author to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame.

Be willing to write really badly.”

~ Jennifer Egan

Egan is an American novelist and short-story writer. She has written so badly she won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction.

“You fail only if you stop writing.”

~ Ray Bradbury

Bradbury was an American author and screenwriter who wrote fantasy, science fiction, horror, and mystery fiction.

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.”

~ Isaac Asimov

Asimov was an American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He wrote more than 500 books during his lifetime.

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”

~ Octavia E. Butler

Butler was an American science fiction author. She was the first science-fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship in 1995.

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”

~ Kurt Vonnegut

Vonnegut was an American writer of fourteen novels, five plays, three short story collections and five works of nonfiction.

“The nearest I have to a rule is a Post-it on the wall in front of my desk saying ‘Faire et se taire’ from Flaubert. Which I translate for myself as ‘Shut up and get on with it.’”

~ Helen Simpson

Simpson is an English novelist, short-story writer and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

“I’ve found the best way to revise your own work is to pretend that somebody else wrote it and then to rip the living shit out of it.”

~ Don Roff

Roff is an American filmmaker and writer of horror fiction and fantasy. He is an ex-US Army Ranger and a vegan.

“Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial ‘we’.”

~ Mark Twain

Twain was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He is known as the father of American literature.

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

~ Somerset Maugham

Maugham was an English playwright, novelist, and short-story writer. Allegedly he was the highest-paid author during the 1930s.

“Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.”

~ Stephen King

King is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, crime, science-fiction, and fantasy novels. His books have sold more than 350 million copies.

Write drunk, edit sober.”

~ Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway was an American journalist, novelist, short-story writer, and sportsman. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954.

“If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don’t listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.”

~ Lillian Hellman

Hellman was an American playwright, author and screenwriter. She became the first female screenwriter to receive an individual Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1943.

Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously.”

~ Lev Grossman

Grossman is an American novelist and journalist who wrote The Magicians Trilogy.

So there you have it. Thirty-seven pearls of wisdom to energise us into action and start writing something every day.

Even if we have to rip it up and start again.

The Reeve Show - Painting by Lizabeth
Two enthusiastic writers. Painting by Lizabeth

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