Quoth the Writer & #ROW80

Some time ago, I collected favorite writing quotes and put them into a document to refer to now and then. This past week, I have struggled with focus in my WIP, a young adult novel called Sharing Hunter. The book is plotted, and I love the idea and characters. However, when I wrote, the story wasn’t coming together as I wanted. So I took a step back to regroup.

I chatted with my husband about where I was going with the story and asked his advice about what it’s like to be a high school guy. He suggested rearranging a couple of scenes, which I think will help the story flow better.

Yet, getting this tale on paper is not going as smoothly as I wish. So I’m bringing out my inspiring writer quotes. Here are a few that apply:

“What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.” -Samuel Johnson

“The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean; not to affect your reader, but to affect him precisely as you wish.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” – Gene Fowler

“A ream of fresh paper lies on my desk waiting for the next book. I am a writer and I take up my pen to write.” – Pearl S. Buck

This coming week, I am committed to getting this novel into shape — the way I want it to read, the way I would want to read it.

Meanwhile, here’s the update on my ROW80 goals for Round 1 of 2012:

  • Finish editing Grace & Fire mystery novel and send to reader. Finished January 19.
  • Write 1,500 words per week on young adult novel, Sharing Hunter. Didn’t add new words, but reworked a few scenes.
  • Blog twice a week on Amaze-ing Words Wednesday and Deep-Fried Friday, and check-in with ROW80 updates twice a week. Posted Valentine’s Special: Candy Heart Sayings and These Boots Were Made for Shufflin’ & ROW80 on Wednesday and Have You Always Been a Writer? on Friday.
  • Comment on at least 15 blogs per week (not counting ROW80 update comments). Tracked some comments, but not all. I probably commented on about 10 blogs. I have some catching up to do on my blog reading.
  • Read one writing craft book. Finished On Writing by Stephen King this week.
  • Read eight fiction books. 5 down, reading The Cat, the Lady and the Liar (a cozy mystery) by Leann Sweeney.

I’ll be cheering on my fellow ROWers with their progress this week too. You can do the same by clicking HERE.

So do you have favorite quotes? What words inspire you?

18 thoughts on “Quoth the Writer & #ROW80

  1. Love how you are sharing your writing experience. It helps to know that it’s not super easy for everyone to just sit down and pump out a linear story. It’s comforting. Although I realize for you, not cool. 🙂 Here’s to getting it all straightened out this week. I loved the quotes – they were so on point and helped!!!
    Woot woot!

  2. Congrats on finishing Grace & Fire. What a wonderful accomplishment! You will get this wip whipped into shape, I’m certain of it. One step at a time, even if that step is backwards to better se the big picture.

    My favorite quote is by Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

  3. I loved those quotes, and they’re so true! Plots are tough, and so much goes in to how the story unfolds. I just finished my first novel and it’s YA and the rewrites are getting INTENSE. One minute I feel like I’m on top of it and things are working out, then the next it’s like ‘who am I and what am I doing.’

    Good luck on getting it all down right! The first quote makes me feel especially good about how much work we put in to our writing- although I do hope it gets a little easier with each book.

    1. Easier is relative. This is my third book, with a few other projects started and not finished. It gets frustrating when you can see the story all unfold in your brain, but you struggle to get it down on paper that way. Best wishes with the rewrites. I love YA. I’ll be checking in with you. Thanks!

  4. These quotes are great! I especially love the one by Toni Morrison. That’s one of things that got me started writing! I think my favorite is the Nora Roberts one, something on the lines of “I can fix a crappy page, I can’t fix a blank one.” Hope you’re feeling better and have a great week!

  5. I love writing quotes too, though I don’t collect them anymore. Those are great!
    Here are some for you:
    “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” – Ernest Hemingway
    “People do not lack strength; they lack will.” – Victor Hugo
    “Inspiration will find you, but it must find you working.” – Picasso

    Have a great week!

  6. Thanks for sharing those quotes! They are definitely inspiring. And I totally understand about revamping the book. It’s very cool your hubby was able to help out with that. Mine’s supportive, but he’s totally clueless. And congrats on the mystery. Good luck this week!

    1. Ha! Usually my hubby’s not that helpful with my books (though supportive too), but when I asked a direct question about teenage guyhood, it was enlightening. Thanks, Stacy!

  7. Fantastic quotes! I’m still laughing at the ‘stare at it until drops of blood form on….’
    I hate when the story won’t ‘come together’ on the paper. But you’ve got the right attitude! Just take a step back, breathe, and talk it round and round with someone until your ‘aha!’ moment. It’s coming. Best of luck this week with this!

  8. The quotes have been inspirational -especially the words of Gene Fowler, it certainly has truth to it. I guess that is one reason it’s not that plain sailing to write; outlining and plotting is great; but then there’s the conflict which comes with what you where you see your writing should go towards and where your muse wants to go. (Amy Kennedy’s inspirational post, A Cautionary Tale explains this well.)

    All in all you have achieved a lot this week, so don’t be so hard on yourself –there’s lots you have accomplished, focus on them and tackle each day as it comes. Keep up the good work.

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