The past, present, and future walk into a bar.
It was tense.
Get the joke?
This classic (although, on second thought, maybe not as funny) pun shows the power of words. When weaved together well, they can put a smile on your face, drive you to tears, make you think, and even change your perspective.
And we’ve compiled a list of writing quotes that’ll inspire you to put pen to paper.
Who knows, we might just be quoting you on our next blog.
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” – Anton Chekhov
We all know the mantra, ‘show, don’t tell.’
In 16 words, Anton Chekhov brings this to life.
As writers, we often provide as much information as possible to paint a clear picture for our readers. However, Chekhov reminds us that sometimes less is more. It’s more effective to allow readers to fill in the blanks themselves, using their imagination.
So how can you ‘show, not tell’?
- Focus on the little things. For example, pay attention to your characters’ facial expressions and body language.
- Take advantage of sensory images to bring your story to life.
- Use strong verbs to convey movement and action. For example, slam, groan, jostle, and deviate.
- Provide examples and use dialogue to cut through the clutter.
“You can fix anything but a blank page” – Nora Roberts
A blank page can be intimidating for any writer (cue blinking cursor syndrome), but it’s important to remember that it’s merely a page.
Just get started – even if it’s only one sentence – and you’ll find the momentum building from there.
And don’t worry if your writing isn’t perfect. You can always go back and make edits later.
Remember: Your first draft will definitely not be your last.
“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” – Samuel Johnson
It’s important to be well-read to write well.
Reading allows you to understand the beauty of language, the art of storytelling, and the power of a compelling argument.
This helps develop your writing personality and makes your work more engaging and nuanced.
A writer has to be a lifelong learner. And reading is the best way to learn.
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” – Dr. Seuss
Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. How would you feel about reading something wordy or complicated? Would you enjoy the piece?
Brevity and simplicity are essential writing tools. So, here are a few tips to ensure that your words pack a punch:
- Speak to your audience at the appropriate vocabulary level
- Avoid jargon and technical terms
- Cut the fluff
- Use short sentences and paragraphs
- The active voice is your friend
- Remember the KISS Principle (Keep It Stupid Simple)
“A writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.” – Burton Rascoe
Do you know that feeling when you’re stuck in a rut, and all you can do is stare at your computer screen? You’re not getting anywhere; the more you try, the more frustrated you become.
That’s when you have to take a break.
The best ideas come when least expected — in the shower, while driving to work, in a dream, or even while staring out a window. All it takes is a change in perspective to jumpstart your creativity.
And you don’t have to travel far to find inspiration. Just look around you.
You’ll be surprised by what you come up with.
“Good writing is rewriting.” – Truman Capote
If you want to be a good writer, you have to be a great rewriter.
Writing is a process. First drafts are never perfect – it’s just a starting point. The real work happens in the editing process, where you can polish your writing and make it ready for publication.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when rewriting your work:
- Stay focused: Don’t let distractions derail you. Make sure you look at your work with fresh eyes and pay attention to the details.
- Read your work aloud: Run your piece through a text-to-speech converter. Listening to the words can help you spot previously missed errors.
- Be patient: Revising your writing takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the end. Don’t rush through the editing process.
- Seek feedback: Getting feedback from other writers can be helpful when it comes to revising your work. Ask for constructive criticism and use it to make your writing better.
“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” – Thomas Mann
Writers put themselves through the wringer.
The process of writing — from coming up with an idea to drafting, editing, and proofreading — is challenging for most people. But for writers, it’s even harder. This is because writers are constantly battling against their inner critics.
They obsess over every sentence and punctuation mark, ensuring it’s just right.
And for what? So that it might resonate with someone, somewhere.
There’s a common misconception that writers sit down at a keyboard and start spewing words. Writing is a labor of love — it takes time, persistence, and hard work to hone your craft.
Before you go…
Are there any writing quotes that inspire you? Let us know in the comments below. And if you’re looking for a tool to help you eliminate that dreaded writer’s block and get you creating quickly, take ContentBot for a spin.
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