Need inspiration to get you writing? Try these five famous quotations.
This blog has been kindly written by content and copywriter Natalie Booth
Writing isn’t just the act of putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. It’s a process that requires attentiveness, passion and care, amongst other things. The physical act of writing is only part of the process. The rest comes when you’re day-dreaming and deep in thought, or in the way you notice the smallest details that others might miss.
Being a talented writer comes with practise and perseverance. It also serves well to look up to those that are considered experts in their field. Here are 5 snippets of wisdom from popular writers to inspire you in your own work.
“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” - Jodi Picoult
Do you find yourself in a downward spiral of procrastination? Suffering the growing anxiety of not knowing where to begin? We’ve all been there. Even the most prolific writers suffer from writer’s block. Often, the trick is to just start writing. Once the words start coming, you might just find they continue to flow readily.
Maybe you’ll look back on what you’ve written in a day or two with slight dismay. But maybe, just maybe, you’ll find something that’s worth reading. Or at the very least, the foundations of a remarkable piece of work. The point is, if you don’t make a start, you’ll never reach the end.
“Don’t use big words, they mean so little.” – Oscar Wilde
Good writing should be crystal clear to your audience. Using complicated and potentially unfamiliar words means your writing won’t flow or be easy to digest for the majority of your readers. That’s not to say that your readers aren’t intelligent enough to understand; more that the meaning of your words get lost with over-elaboration.
Attempting to sound brainy makes it look like you’re trying too hard to impress and risks the reader giving up on your writing altogether. There’s no harm in having an extensive vocabulary. Before you use it, however, you need to first think about what it is your reader gains from your work.
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” Dr Suess
I love this quote! Who doesn’t love being transported back to their childhood? This quote by Dr Suess (Theodore Geisel) has a more insightful meaning than the simplicity of the sentence suggests.
I find it oddly satisfying to delete words that were written in a first draft, after realising that (a) you’ve come up with something better or (b) they didn’t add any value to your writing in the first place.
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach
Do you ever suffer from imposter syndrome? Do you feel unskilled and inexperienced in comparison to every other writer out there? It’s common, but not necessarily constructive.
Believing your inner critic is not only detrimental to your writing, but also to your artistic nature in general. It goes without saying that if you want to succeed, quitting is not an option. It’s always worth remembering that the expert in anything was once a beginner.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination but should finish in the reader’s.” – Stephen King
Not long before I made the plunge into starting my own writing career, I read Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. It’s packed full of pearls of wisdom, expressed in a straight-shooting yet entertaining tone. (I’d thoroughly recommend it for anyone who’s interested in writing).
While King is predominantly a fiction writer, this quote can be considered for all types of writing. He goes on to say: “Description begins with visualisation of what it is you want the reader to experience. It ends with your translating what you see in your mind into words on the page”. For content and copywriters such as myself, we want our words to encourage, motivate, inform and inspire our readers, and well-crafted description is the centrepiece of the table.
As a final piece of advice, here’s a bonus Stephen King quote for any aspiring writers who may not yet have begun their journey: “The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.”
Natalie Booth is a freelance content and copywriter from Derbyshire. She also runs the mental health and wellbeing blog, I Strive.