Staying confident and strong in the face of adversity is difficult for a lot of people especially writers because we really are our own worst critics. Along with the characters in our stories, there is another voice in our heads whose main purpose is to berate our work and destroy our confidence. It’s not always easy to shut out this annoying, little censure every day, so you have to find ways to fight back.
I’m not sure what other writers do to quiet their inner critic, but one way I tune out the disparaging demon is by collecting inspirational quotes. I have hundreds of them plastered on my walls so that every direction I turn I will see words of encouragement. Many of them are from famous authors who have once struggled as I do and others are reminders to enjoy life and take one day at a time. There are even a few from some of my own characters (I know it’s weird because they’re imaginary) which make me feel as though they are reminding me to keep going and never give up.
Here are a few of my favorites. I hope they give you the added boost of confidence you need to stifle your inner critic and make 2013 your best year of writing yet!
Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. ~Anne Lamott
Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work. ~ Stephen King
I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide. ~Harper Lee
People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it. ~R.L. Stine
It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way. ~Ernest Hemingway
I’ve learned that the people who label you are the ones who know the least about who you really are and they have never made the effort to learn different. ~Charlotte McDaniel from my novel, Charlotte’s War
When I say work I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs. ~Margaret Laurence
If you wait for inspiration to write; you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter. ~ Dan Poynter
Write your first draft with your heart. Rewrite with your head. ~ Mike Rich
Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth
Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way. ~ Ray Bradbury
Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood—you will either write or you will not—and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try. ~Jim Tully
You can’t think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block. ~ John Rogers
I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as he finishes the book. ~Roald Dahl
Right now you need to concentrate on yourself and do what is best for you. ~Valerie Hansen from my novel, I Will Keep You Safe
Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing. ~Melinda Haynes
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. ~Ernest Hemingway
I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story. ~Tom Clancy
One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off. ~Lawrence Block
You fail only if you stop writing. ~ Ray Bradbury