Monday, January 31, 2011

Be Brave, Be Bold, and Don't Suck

Happy Monday! Just wanna leave you with some helpful quotes to get the week started and help motivate your muse. :)

*  Writing is a long hard slog and your brain needs to be in tip-top shape.

*  Reading is the creative center of a writer's life.

*  Reading is your job. If you don't read the genre your writing in, you will never absorb the techniques and structure needed.

*  Unlearn much of what you know about writing.

*  Construct clean sentences powered by vivid verbs.Your metaphors and images need to trill as memorably as a chorus of bagpipes at a funeral.

*  Like other pros, put in the time, hit the books, and refine your skills.

*  Nothing instructs a writer about metaphor, imagery, and the potency of language more than poetry.

*  Writing and reading poetry brings us deeper into the vast sea of language because trying to convey an idea           in a few lines teaches us depths of language we'd never find on our own.

*  Experiment, brainstorm, and dabble.

*  Stay loose and enjoy the writer's equivalent of mud and finger paints and clown hats.

*  Juggle several projects at once. This sort of tinkering refreshes the imagination, creates small successes, and boosts confidence.

*  Write your first draft fast as though your pants were on fire, and stay close to your story.

*  Writing must contain emotional and intellectual complexity, which is the opposite of melodrama.

*  Put writing first in your life and keep plugging away; carry it around with you.

*  The more often you visit your characters, the more likely they'll whisper their truths and heartbreaks.

*  Research, then emulate the lives of successful writers.

*  Realize that sometimes you're going to be the geekiest, dorkiest new kid in class. Learn to laugh a bit when you screw up.

*  Find sophisticated and possibly cold-hearted readers.

*  See the world is gold all around you and press those images onto the pages.

*  Instead of searching the world for a source of joy, make writing your source of joy.

*  Always think about what you're seeing, and always question it. Always remain open.

On that note, get in there and get writing. Even if it's simply jotting notes for your next story. Keep the creativity flowing. These quotes were compiled from my fave handy dandy writing manual, Thanks, But This Isn't For Us by Jessica Morrell. Jessica also runs a terrific writing-focused blog which you can find here.

On a side note, check out the pic to the right for the A-Z Blogfest happening in the month of April. It means blogging everyday (except weekends) for the entire month of April, but what a fun way to meet new friends! Click on the pic and get to Blogfest HDQ where you can learn all the deets.

So what about you? Any fave writing quotes you'd like to share? Or just anything in general? Let's talk ... 


Jules said...

Great points and I'm happy to say several I already practice. :) And what shall we talk about... :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Hannah Kincade said...

I love all these quotes and now I'm just thinking about writing. Too bad I start the day job soon. Le sigh.

Tracy said...

The more often you visit your characters, the more likely they'll whisper their truths and heartbreaks

That one was my absolute favorite. And sooo true. I find the more revisions I go through on a story the more the characters guide me to why they do the things they do, and when I have them doing things they don't think they would.

E.J. Wesley said...

Cold-hearted readers ... the love of every writer's life! :) Happy Monday, PK!

A. Lockwood said...

Hm, good advice about poetry.

My friend framed a quote for me that made me laugh. "I love being a writer. What I hate is the paperwork." But I don't think that's quite as inspirational...

Roland D. Yeomans said...

A quote that has always said something new to me each time I've read it is from something Steve Job, of APPLE fame, wrote :

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.

Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice.

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Your post today was quite perceptive and thought-provoking, thanks -- Roland

Su said...

All great advice! I shall try very hard not to suck. :)

Kindros said...

Great quotes, I feel inspired. :)

I do have a couple of ideas that have been growing in my mind, but when I sit at the computer to write, I go blank. I'll have to try again tonight. Thank you :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Unlearning is easy - I just go to sleep at night and presto, I've forgotten in the morning!

Florence said...

I take my quote from a person I admire because of her work ethic. When I think I am hitting a wall of I'd rather do something else, I remember Stephan King and Nora Roberts who write every day, 365 days a year no matter what.

This is from her keynote speech at RWA 2010 Conference, comparing publishing to swimming.

"As a writer, your job is to jump in the pool. RWA is a springboard to get in. If you’re spending all your time complaining about how other people have been in the pool longer, or that the water is too cold, you will not learn to swim. You will drown. So either get in there and practice your strokes, or get out and whine on the chaise lounge. It’s up to you."

The Blogger Formerly Known As said...

One of my favourites has always been, Write drunk; edit sober (Ernest Hemingway)

Colene Murphy said...

GREAT tips PK! Thanks so much!

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Yay - excellent and motivating post:) Just launched my first blog contest today - stop by if you have time!!

Jennifer Jackson said...

Ditto Su on the trying not to suck. :)

Margo Benson said...

Wonderful and inspiring post! I love * Stay loose and enjoy the writer's equivalent of mud and finger paints and clown hats.
My late Dad used to say, 'Everything matters, but nothing matters terribly.' I like to think so.

The Golden Eagle said...

Thank you for this post!

Nas Dean said...

Thanks for the great post!

Melissa Bradley said...

Great post. One of my fave pieces of writing advice was "Forget write what you know. Write what you can imagine and figure out."

gideon 86 said...

Fantastic post PK.

We all need these reminders especially when we get in a slump.

I received your thank you note. I'm glad you liked it.


Arlee Bird said...

Thanks for your mention of Blogging from A to Z. I'll link to this on my thank you post this Thursday 2/3.

You offer some great advice. Anyone who reads my blog knows I'm a fan of juggling. Participating in the A to Z Challenge will really give you a juggling act to remember.

I am now following your blog.

Tossing It Out and the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011

T C Mckee said...

Amazing post. Love the quotes. I'm a sucker for great quotes. I wonder if I'd write better wearing a clown hat or if that would make my family completely question my sanity more than they do already. Hey, it'd be fun to see their reaction.

Melissa said...

Awesome points. I practice many of these!

Tabitha Bird said...

Great post. Good points. Especially the 'don't suck.' I try very hard not to suck :))

LTM said...

ahh... good stuff. Thanks for sharing these. Now to try and not suck~ ;p <3

Betsy said...

Good tips.
My favorite quote (which fits for nearly every aspect of life):
"Try again, fail again, fail better."
-Samuel Beckett.

Draven Ames said...

Great choices on the quotes. There are so many things to learn while you write. We kind of pick up things and they just become part of life.

That blogfest looks cool. I might just do that. Is there one like that for this month?

Julia Smith said...

'Nothing instructs a writer about metaphor, imagery, and the potency of language more than poetry.'

I definitely agree - writing poetry makes me a much stronger fiction writer.

Regina said...

My stand by is "If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished."

William Kendall said...

Great tips, PK!

I love this one: "Stay loose and enjoy the writer's equivalent of mud and finger paints and clown hats."

Anonymous said...

"Don't suck!" lol

Writing as if your pants were on fire? I hear ya! When I write, I have to devote every single minute I have to my story, so I don't start being pulled into different directions with it. So, it stays focused. That way, it's easier to edit afterwards too, there are less useless pages in there and the story is tighter. Great advice! :)

I love reading you! I don't have as much time to come peak as I would like to. xx