12 Quotes to Inspire You to Write

I was stuck recently. Again. The words were not flowing and the doubts were creeping in. My technique to combat this is to go through inspiring writing quotes. A lot of these are by published writers that have also been stuck. So, if you are struggling to get words on the page then this list of 12 quotes is for you. 

inspiring writing quote
Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones that keep writing. They are the ones that discover what is most pleasurable and most important and most strange in themselves and keep believing in the value of their work, despite their difficulties.

1 Do not use somebody else’s definition of success to measure your progress. Also, not everybody keeps writing. A lot of people stop and never write again. To stay out of that club you just need to keep writing. I wrote here about how to combat ‘comparisonitis’.

inspirational quote
The next time you are worried that your plot isn’t good enough remember that somebody made money out of sharks in a tornado
  1. They did this several times (there are 5 films). People even enjoyed it! (I preferred the first one) And until you finish your book your idea will never be good enough. Stay writing your idea.
It is only by writing, not by dreaming about it that we develop our style
  1. Every time we write we get better. Our style develops and matures. Keep writing. For more help I wrote here about how to get the first words on the page.
If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it.
  1. Even if it is just a slight twist on a familiar trope it is worth writing. Familiar tropes are bought and enjoyed by people all the time. I wrote more here about how to find your writing niche based on your interests.
Writers live with fear. Some writers cannot deal with the fear and so they quit or refuse to publish. In order to publish, you must either ignore the fear or trick it into leaving you alone.
  1. If fear is holding you back and making it hard to get words on the page then you are in good company. You don’t even have to identify what exactly the fear is e.g. fear of failure, fear of success, fear of judgement etc. There are plenty of fears to choose from. You might even have more than one. But keep moving forward anyway. Even if you are feeling scared keep writing.

I wrote more about understanding your fears here. I believe that understanding what the fear response is can help combat it more effectively. It has definitely helped me and my writing.

If you start to edit as you write, you are climbing into your editor self, the self that reads. You’ve done plenty of reading, you don’t need practice right now. Just write.
  1. Words on the page are your focus when you start. Edit later. How much later will depend on your writing process. Some writers edit the next day, other writers edit at the end of a draft. But you can’t edit a blank page. 
If you want to be a writer, write. Write and write and write. Writing is what makes a writer, nothing more and nothing less.
  1. You are already a writer. You are writing your story, novel or book. So, just keep writing, writer. If you think that there is a certain set of criteria that you have to meet then you are dealing with perfectionism. I wrote here about how to deal with this mindset. Perfectionism kept me stuck for years. I’m still not completely free of it but I am getting better at recognising it.
The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everybody else’s highlight reel.
  1. He’s not a writer but his words are still true. We will never know everything that another writer goes through. It is not possible. (Unless you’re psychic and have also been stalking them their whole life.) Having books on our bookshelves can be great inspiration but they can also be applying unconscious pressure to be brilliant. Maybe your book will be just as good, if not better, than the books on your bookshelf. But you have to write it first.
inspiring writing quote
You are a writer the moment you start writing. Not when you’ve sold your first book.
  1. Same as the 7th inspiring writing quote, just in case it didn’t sink in yet. But it’s also worth repeating again. You can call yourself a writer.
inspiring writing quote
I hereby grant you permission to write crap. The more the better. Remember, crap makes the best fertiliser.
  1. From out of the crap will come your book, story or novel. In order to grow your work you need to put the crap down first. You sometimes need to see how you don’t want to write it before you can figure out how you do want to write it.

Roses love manure. Their roots need to be fed manure from cows, chickens or horses and they produce an abundance of flowers. So, next time you see roses in a shop, remind yourself that without manure there would be no pristine white flowers to sell.

If fear of making mistakes is holding you back you can read more here for extra help.

inspiring writing quote
If we had to say what writing is, we would have to define it as essentially an act of courage.
  1. Moving forward, even though you feel afraid, takes courage. So recognise your courage and then start writing.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. Agatha Christie, Mark Twain or even Sally Berger.
  1. Get ahead of where you were yesterday, or even two hours ago. Every little bit counts. Your future self will appreciate it tomorrow. 

This quote is interesting because it is not clear who said it first. I have included the three names that are usually credited with this inspiring quote. Quote Investigator is the website that I got my information from.

I hope you are feeling inspired and ready to write. Or even that you are feeling less alone in your writing journey. All writers get stuck and all writers struggle. Welcome to the club. 

Now, this is the hard part. You need to choose: are you going to write, type or dictate the next part of your story?

Action steps for Inspiring Writing Quotes

Choose one of the inspiring writing quotes that resonated with you.

Write it down on a piece of paper. You can decide how you do this. I have a set of coloured gel pens and post-its that I use. Stick the quote somewhere you will see it. (You could also save it as your desktop background)

Create a list of writing quotes that you can read through when you need help and support. I use Pinterest to gather them together. I also like the visual, colourful aspect of Pinterest. But, you could just have them written on a piece of paper. 

This is a great writing adjacent exercise to do when you are feeling stuck. If it is the writing craft that is causing you to stick then gather quotes about the writing craft. If it is mindset then concentrate on the inspirational and motivational writing quotes.

More reading on Building a Writing Routine

How to use other writer’s routines as inspiration for your own

The comprehensive guide to finding time to write

Building a consistent writing habit for beginners. Start your writing today.

Writing during the summer

How to build your writing routine in 5 days

How to find the time to write: 4 steps to help you write more often

Setting up your productive and inspiring writing space