My 5 Favorite Writing Quotes

I love quotes. I think the main reason I love Instagram is because of the way people can display quotes and Bible verses on beautiful images. Quotes can encourage. They can be something to look to when you feel stuck or uninspired.

I love turning to quotes about writing when I need a little boost of encouragement or inspiration. The following quotes are my favorites:

  1. “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
    This was my first favorite quote about writing. I discovered it back in high school when I first got serious about writing. I love it because it explains that need to write that people feel. I have something to say to this world, and writing is how I say it.
  2. “A word to the unwise. Torch every book. Char every page. Burn every word to ash. Ideas are incombustible. And therein lies your real fear.” – Ellen Hopkins
    This quote about censorship inspired a book I have on the back burner. I love it because it is so true—you can never take away the power of words.

    1-17 blog 2
    I love this quote by Ellen Hopkins about censorship
  3. “The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.” – Vladimir Nabokov
    I think this quote is a beautiful depiction of how it feels to write. When you are into a story and the words are flowing, it truly does feel like the words are already there in invisible ink, just waiting for you to uncover them.
  4. “Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” – Barbara Kingsolver
    I love this quote because it reminds me to not let others influence my writing. It can be tempting to try to write a book just like the latest bestseller, but that’s not what I have to say and those aren’t the stories I have to offer to the world.

    1-17 blog
    This quote by Barbara Kingsolver is a great reminder
  5. “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” – Colossians 3:23
    This last one is not exactly a quote about writing, but I apply this Bible verse to my writing life. Writing is the work I’ve been called to do. And I shouldn’t be writing for some worldly reason like fame. Instead I will work willingly for the Lord.

I hope that sharing these quotes might help inspire you with your own creative projects.

What’s your favorite quote about writing?

Being a “Real” Writer

Did I become a real writer when I completed my first, terrible novel? Was it when I received my first rejection letter for that novel? When I won a writing contest at college? When that story was published in the school’s literary journal? Or was it when I graduated with a degree in creative writing? When I finished a second novel, and then a third? When GenZ Publishing signed me as one of their authors? Will it be when my book is finally published and goes out into the world?

Every day, I sit down at my desk—a converted kitchen table—and I try to put words on paper. Does that make me a real writer? I’ve been thinking about this question a lot lately, because now that I’m out of school and it’s just me, sitting here every day trying to work, ninety-nine percent of the time I don’t feel like a real writer, but like someone who doesn’t want to get a real job and wants to stay home telling stories.

My desk

I know that I am very blessed. I met the man of my dreams at such a young age and he happens to have chosen a career that allows him to support both of us right out of college. Even more than that, he wants me to stay home and try to make a real career out of my writing, because he understands how important stories are and how important my writing is to me.

I’ve always dreamed of being able to do this, to make writing a full time job. And for the last couple months that I’ve done this, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I get to hang out with my puppy and work on stories and read a lot. It is my dream come true. But I still don’t feel like a real writer.

Just like most writers, there are days when I don’t get anything done. I stare, for hours sometimes, at the computer screen, but nothing comes to me. I wrote here about how hard it is to be between books, and trying to get going on a new project is definitely part of my struggle. When writing isn’t getting done, I try to read, both fiction and writing text books, or work on this blog and my other social media, so that I’m still working on something. Even though I do this, I still feel like a failure when I’m not writing anything.

But I think I’m being too harsh on myself. So many of the writing quotes or tips that I see online is that writer’s write, implying that if you’re not physically writing you’re not a writer. But I don’t think it’s as black and white as that. I think a writer is someone who commits his or her life to telling stories, whether fictional or nonfictional, and who is constantly striving toward that goal. Because there are a lot of elements to this job. Not only must you physically put words on paper, but you must study the craft, and reach out to readers through social media. And you have to read, a lot, to learn about how others write (which is my favorite kind of homework). I’m not saying to use all of this as an excuse to not write, but I just want to make the point that there is so much involved in the career of being a writer besides just writing.

So I don’t think any of the questions above is the right one to ask. I think I became a real writer when i decided that I wanted to be a real writer. Because that was when I committed to doing all of this—the writing, the reading, the studying, the being involved on social media. And I need to give myself a break on days when the words aren’t coming to me, because most days they do come if I try hard enough, and if they don’t there are so many other tasks to dig my fingers into.