As a budding writer still setting out on the early stages of what will hopefully be a long and interesting career, I try to keep an eye out for any particularly inspiring quotes from respected individuals that either sum up my own views on writing far more eloquently than I ever could or that inspire a new way of thinking altogether. Here are just a few of those that have had a particular resonance with me and a little bit about why I find them so motivating.
- “Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.” ― Lloyd Alexander
I think this reflects beautifully the idea that however far removed a story may seem from reality, the very best work in fiction always represents issues and ideas that are pertinent in our own lives.
- “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ― Toni Morrison
I think this quote is a great reminder that first and foremost, you must always write a story that you would want to read. If you are not passionate about your work, how can you possibly expect anyone else to be?
- “You can make anything by writing.” ― C.S. Lewis
A really common question that writers get asked is; ‘What do you need to be a good writer?’ Though you could list a whole host of literary techniques that improve the quality of your writing, I strongly believe that the only thing that is an absolute necessity is an imagination and the ability to engage it. Then, as this quote says, the possibilities as to what you can achieve with your work are truly endless.
- “Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” ― Stephen King
I am also a firm believer that in many cases; less is more. My favourite kind of books are the ones that provide you with enough information to tell a convincing and interesting story but simultaneously leave you with enough unanswered questions that you continue to think about them long after you finish reading the last page. Don’t quash your readers’ imaginations with too much information; tantalise them and allow them to flourish.
- “I would like to be remembered as someone who did the best she could with the talent she had.” – J. K. Rowling
It is a simple fact that no writer can achieve universal popularity. Whether one or a million people enjoy your story, so long as you know you have done your best and created something which you are proud to have your name on, then this is all you can ever hope for. Any success or admiration that comes in addition to that is only ever going to be a wonderful bonus.
- “No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best do live in us forever.” – J.K. Rowling
Some more words of wisdom from Rowling, I love this quote as it sums up how I feel about my favourite books perfectly. No matter how many times you read them or how long it may have been since the last time, a good story that engages with our hearts and our minds never truly leaves us. It is my biggest hope that one day, even one person out there will feel that way about something I have written.