When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don’t feel so bad
In my everyday life, I’m generally too busy to worry to lose motivation, doubt myself, or wonder if what I’m doing is really any good. Besides, I’m not the self-pitying type. But when it comes writing, there are definitely moments when I have those feelings. That’s when it becomes a struggle to write, and I lose confidence and motivation. And that’s when I need my favourite quotes. Some are funny, some are meaningful, and others probably don’t mean much to anyone except me. But perhaps something here will resonate with you, too.
Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
I love this quote, and refer to it when I feel like nothing I’m doing is working. I know I have the ability. So am I unmotivated? Or do I have the wrong attitude? It often helps to put things into perspective for me.
Art is never finished, only abandoned.
–Leonardo da Vinci
When I’m reading over something for the twentieth time, and still finding edits that I’d live to make, I remember this. I force myself to remember it even more when I reread something that I’ve submitted, or had published, and still find edits that I wish I’d made.
Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.
Wow. So it’s not just me?
Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”
–Mary Anne Radmacher
I’m not sure I can explain why this appeals to me so much. I’ll try again tomorrow.
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
There are times I feel like I have no talent. I rarely feel like a genius. I often worry that I’ve got no formal education qualifications. But persistence? Determination? I’ve got plenty of those.
Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.
There are times when I wonder whether I should be writing something “better”–something more literary. Sure, I can write what some people would consider to be meaningful fiction. But does that mean I should? No. I should be writing the genre that I love.
Writing a novel is like making love, but it’s also like having a tooth pulled. Pleasure and pain. Sometimes it’s like making love while having a tooth pulled.
I hear you…
And, last but not least, my favourite quote when I’m struggling with characters, plot, ideas, and writer’s block:
When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.