Books Magazine

Three Writing Quotes That Will Make You Pause…Then Write

By Steph's Scribe @stephverni

“We’re past the age of heroes and hero kings. Most of our lives are basically mundane and dull, and it’s up to the writer to find ways to make them interesting.”
—John Updike

Let’s begin with John Updike’s quote. How great is that one? When writers read that quote, it should make them realize what’s important in writing—a strong voice, good dialogue, realistic characters, and a nice plot that keeps readers going.

We are not reinventing the wheel, we are merely storytellers, here to entertain.

Sometimes, when I find I’m being too hard on myself and I reread something I’ve written, I go back and ask these questions: “Was it entertaining? Did the characters in the story come to life? Is it moving forward? Am I relaying a message or an idea to ponder?”

If the answer is yes to this question, I fix whatever needs fixing, and then I move along. There is no need to beat yourself up habitually. There’s a time to let a piece of writing go.

Which brings me to this one by Hemingway…

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
—Ernest Hemingway

We are always learning. Always working hard. Always trying new techniques and style. That’s what makes it fun to be a writer, right?

And while I’m not a HUGE Jack Kerouac fan (I like him, he’s just not one of my all-time faves), I LOVE this quote by him:

“It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.”
—Jack Kerouac

Themes and plots of stories have been similar for eons…the test is to tell the story your way in your manner. That’s the point. Whatever story you are trying to tell has never been told from your vantage point before. So tell it, and write it that way. It’s the way YOU write it that counts.

Now find your writing mojo, and get to work. There are a lot of words ahead of you and blank pages to fill.


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