starting a writing journey quotes

starting a writing journey quotes

Inspiring Quotes to Begin Your Writing Journey

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1. The Power of Words

In script writing, we deal primarily with the spoken word. And everyone knows that it is much more powerful to ‘show’ a character’s emotions than to ‘tell’. So why is it in real life an ‘I love you’ has so much more impact than a hug or a kiss? Words paint pictures. An “I hate you” can bring a very clear and vivid image to someone’s mind and can replay over and over again every time they see your face. The power in words is in their ability to affect how we interpret the world around us. And it is this ability to alter interpretation that makes words so powerful in creating change. When someone says “I never want to see you again,” realization soon follows that they are entirely erasing that person from their life. This is the power of words changing the course of events through mere interpretation.

The words “I love you” have the power to disarm a tense situation. The words “You’re fired” have the power to change your life. The words “I have a dream” have the power to change the world. Words are powerful. They can create. They can destroy. They can make or break lives. What makes words so powerful? What is it about the way they are strung together and written that has such an impact on the way we live and believe?

2. Overcoming Writer’s Block

A few weeks ago I asked Greg Keener, a marketing guru and successful author, how he avoids writer’s block. He told me that he never writes unless he feels inspired. I took that advice for two whole days and didn’t write a single word! “The secret,” he said with a grin, “is that I’m always inspired.” Thank you, Greg, for that little dose of truth. So long as there’s desire to do something, there will be inspiration for it. Writer’s block is irrelevant. Let the words flow.

“Almost every day I gaze at the blank white screen on my laptop, and the words I try to summon never come out just the way I want them to. I find myself getting wrapped up in worries about the unimportance of my writing and fears of the future; these thoughts are the leading cause of my writer’s block right now. If I can just let go of the idea that what I’m working on isn’t literary goodness for the next Nobel Prize winner and tune out the negative voices, I know the words will start to flow.” – Ashley Farley

“At times it can feel like the characters are the ones doing the talking, and I’m just obeying the speed of their thoughts. This almost always happens late at night, in the midst of an engaging story line and when I can’t get to my keyboard is when I’m most likely to complain that I have writer’s block. But that’s really a misdiagnosis. It’s not that the idea isn’t there, and my fingers have proven they know how to write without me having to tell them what to do; it’s more that the juice isn’t flowing.” – Cami Ostman

3. Embracing the Creative Process

What underpins this process is the urge to share one’s self. Every character and every event is derived from the influences in your life and reflecting the way you perceive the world. At the heart of this is your desire to evoke the same feelings in your audience as you do through your experiences. Trying to project these thoughts and emotions is a very personal experience, and it is all too easy to feel that you’ve tried and failed. Through practice, you will become more skilled at translating these flashbacks and feelings while learning how to construct a more immersive atmosphere for your readers. Step by step, you will get there. This I promise you.

This is where you need to accept your current abilities, embrace them, and be ready to learn. Becoming a skilled writer takes time and effort. Often the work you produce will fall short of your standards, but you must not become disillusioned. You can always edit a bad page, you cannot edit a blank page. We should all write badly more often.

This section discusses the key element to any writing: beginning. And at this beginning, we all begin as novices without any clear understanding of the structures involved in writing nor awareness of the work yet to be done. And this will lead to frustration and stilted beginnings as you sit there at your desk with every word just another draft.

4. Finding Your Unique Voice

In consequence many beginners concentrate overmuch on the how of writing before they ever have anything to express. Your aim at this stage is to learn to write clearly and effectively, but the concept of ‘effectiveness’ is a dangerous one. A certain kind of hack writer has a good deal of effectiveness; his writing is easily assimilated and gives considerable pleasure to the kind of person he is writing for. And the world is full of persons who write well-constructed but mindless essays which get good marks in school. Unless you enjoy practising a new style for its own sake the chances are that you will write best in the style that is in some sense natural to you. Taking thought will improve your style only up to a certain point; it is really in becoming clearer and more exact and learning to say what you want to say with as little expenditure of words as possible that thought on style can help. But to profit from such profit writing must already have content, and the right content for most men is that which is derived from their past writing or is pressing for expression because they are emotionally concerned with something. Emotion and thought at the back of all art. Remembering this will save you from many disappointments.

Yet, oddly enough, much of the effort put into finding your voice in writing may be wasted. According to an old saying ‘a man who has a why that he can live for can bear almost any how’. What gives a person something to live for in Nietzsche’s sense is a passion, and nothing is a more frequent cause of writing than passion. You seek in writing to convince, to move, to create; you write because you are moved yourself.

You can’t be a writer – whether working journalist, poet, or MS-thriller scribe – without writing about yourself, because writing is a representation of the self. Your voice is nothing more and nothing less than who you are, and it is all and everything that will make your writing unique in a world where so much writing is an undifferentiated commodity. All artisans have a voice. It is the ‘you’ that you put into your writing. No one else has it, and no one else can duplicate it. Unfortunately, finding your voice is not as easy as listening to the sounds that emanate from your larynx. In fact, learning to hear your voice is much more difficult than recognizing it in others.

5. The Journey to Becoming a Writer

The first steps of the journey are usually the most difficult. The writer needs to find a voice, a style of writing that is comfortable and natural. It is a stage of trial and error. Many writers, in their haste to become published, often overlook this important step, and thus take longer to reach their destination. This is made more difficult with the varying standards on the internet. With the opportunity to self-publish, many rush into it too quickly, and finding no success, claim that it is impossible to make decent money as a writer. At this stage, writing for exposure is often more important than writing for a quick buck. The knowledge and experience gained from writing different articles on various topics are invaluable and cannot be learned from a ‘how to become a writer’ guide. Write for others, so that they may learn from you or be entertained. Don’t write just for yourself.

To become a successful writer, one has to go through a long and arduous journey. This journey is an ongoing one. It doesn’t end when one has achieved a certain amount of recognition, though that may be a good gauge to say one has arrived at the destination; for these days, recognition comes quickly and fleetingly. Rather, it is a journey of honing one’s writing skills, developing his talent and creativity to a point where they combine to produce a style that is solely the writer’s own, and learning to write about many different topics and issues, ranging from the familiar to the abstract.

Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance. These words by Samuel Johnson, a well-known author in the 18th century, are valid till today. Perseverance is quiet but a powerful tool. A writer does not become one overnight. It does not happen after the first short story or the first article. It is a long and tedious process of molding oneself to be a writer. There are many steps, obstacles, and challenges along the way. But as with any great achievements, these can be overcome with time and effort.

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