Saturday, November 12, 2011

Three Magical Quotes Supporting Writing Regularly (whether you feel like it or not)

Over the last year, I have mentioned in my blog posts, on forums and to pretty much anyone who would listen how writing daily has been one of the best bits of advice I received when I first started writing.  While I was researching this post last night, I read a post-repeat from James Scott Bell about the Ten Commandments for Writers (read it here) where he stressed again coming up with weekly word count goals.  Whether it be writing daily for ten minutes or creating weekly word count goals, regular writing is key to improving your writing skills and exercising your imagination muscles.

Quote 1.  "Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it.  Action has magic, grace and power in it."   Johann Wolfgang

By sitting down daily and creating, a door is opened which allows the magic, grace and power of the imagination (or what some call the muse) out for a little exercise.  Each time the door is opened, our muses venture a little further into the creative realm.  Instead of having to wait for Inspiration to smack us upside the head, our muses bring Inspiration to us.  But first we have to act, we have to open the door.
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Quote 2.  "Love and magic have a great deal in common.  They enrich the soul, delight the heart.  And they both take practice."  Unknown

I am a firm believer in practice making things better, if not perfect.  Two of the toughest things I am trying to teach myself in my life are how to love well and fully, and how to write engaging stories that bring magic to my audience.  I don’t think it is possible to ever reach the pinnacle of either pursuit.  The joy is truly in the journey.  In the case of writing, continuing the trip each day allows progression down the road.  With regular practice, we will find success much sooner than if we sit on the couch and wait until we feel called to write.
Quote 3.  "And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.  Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it."  Roald Dahl

Have you ever written something, felt it was totally uninspired and dull, and then when you re-read it the next day or the next week, you were able to take the sentences, polish them up, and they turned out to be crucial to your story's next steps?  That happened to me this week.  I was feeling terribly dried up last week when I hand wrote about three pages of my novel in a notebook.  I was totally convinced it was crap, and I was dumb to think I would ever write something other people would want to read. 
At the beginning of the week, I pulled out the pages and grimly started typing them into the computer.  (Because, dammit, I’m going to finish a novel!)  As I typed along, I added some things, took out others, and suddenly I was kind of digging where the story was going.  A cool idea how I might incorporate a dragon arose from the unlikely place of those dried-up, uninspired words.  Charles de Lint says it perfectly.  “That’s the thing with magic.  You’ve got to know it’s still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible to you.” 


  1. I like how you say we have to act in order to receive inspiration. Sometimes that blinking cursor will be the death of me, but I keep staring at it, typing whatever nonsense comes to mind, and then right in the middle of it, I finally know what to write!

  2. I love this! And I'm also a strong believer in writing everyday. I have been doing it more and more lately and it has really made me want to keep writing!

    I have learned that to get inspired, you must give your muse the signal that it will have an opportunity to inspire! If you don't write, how will it know when to inspire you?

  3. I try to keep myself on a schedule of writing and I plan the word count per week and the rough schedule of when the current WIP will be finished. I don't always make it, but my schedule is written in pencil and I re-evalute and bump up my time table. My initial goals are ususally overly optimistic, but I figure if I keep at it I'll eventually finish. And inspiration strikes at the strangest times! I always need to be ready to take notes.

  4. Thanks for such great comments.

    I agree, Cassie, about that darn cursor. I think we all feel that same pressure when it sits on the page, just daring you to get started.

    Nicole, I like the idea of cueing the muse to the opportunity of inspiration. I have noticed that, by writing daily, I feel like a writer, and so want to write more, too.

    Cindy, I think it's a great idea to set optimistic goals with an eraser in your back pocket! That way you have something to shoot for, but don't have to beat yourself up if life gets in the way and you have to make adjustments. I still need to learn how to be okay with the modification of goals.

  5. Lara, great site. I found you through Cindy Keen Reynders.
    Good sound advice here. I've been writing for years and I too believe in the magic of writing every day and setting goals. I've recently entered the world of flash fiction in which I am now a contributing author weekly for Vamplit Publishing. This is a wonderful and fun way to keep the creative juices flowing and pushing yourself to meet goals and I might add a way to improve and polish your writing skills. Enjoyed the read!

  6. Welcome, T.K., and thanks! I'm glad you liked the site. I, too, write flash fiction, although I don't have a weekly gig for it! Congrats to you! I like flash fiction for exactly the reasons you mentioned, it's fun, short and really requires you to utilize every word to it's maximum potential.

  7. I just wanted to take a moment to welcome the new followers. I am not sure who I haven't personally welcomed, so if I mention you, and I've already said "hi", well...I guess you can ignore me! So, thank you and "hi" to TK, Patrick, Kelly, and Kate. I think I already got Cassie, Nicole from Colie's Kitchen, Eric, Lacey and M.L., but just in case, I want you all to know how much I appreciate the follow! And thanks to the rest of you for sticking with me!

  8. I'm a firm believer that writers need to write every day. Sure the occasional life event occurs and a day goes by. But 99.9% of the time, writing should be done every day. It's like exercising your craft. When I became serious about writing and moved to a daily schedule, my writing vastly improved. If you want to be better, you must practice.

  9. I totally agree, Kelly. The focus, if we want to improve, is to write.


I'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave your comments below.


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