“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ~ Ray Bradbury
I’ve been writing for elephant journal for a year now and during that year I have been slowly unraveling my soul.
It isn’t always easy to write. That’s the truth. But, it is always worth it.
Many writers will say the same thing; it goes against their sensitive and introverted nature to share their vulnerabilities with the whole world. I am they type of person who takes a while to open up to anyone, yet the words spill out onto paper before I have a chance to stop them.
To say I have learned a lot about myself over this past year would be an understatement. And I’ve only just touched the surface.
Writing helps me to make sense of my mind and the complexities of the world around me. I highly recommend it to anyone.
Here are a few of my favourite quotes that help to inspire and boost me when I receive one of my regular doses of crippling self-doubt.
“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.”
~ Beatrix Potter
“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.” ~ Anne Lamott
“Your problem is how you are going to spend this one and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.” ~ Anne Lamott
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” ~ Anne Lamott
“Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?” ~ Anne Lamott
“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” ~ Anne Lamott
“Becoming a writer is about becoming conscious. When you’re conscious and writing from a place of insight and simplicity and real caring about the truth, you have the ability to throw the lights on for your reader. He or she will recognize his or her life and truth in what you say, in the pictures you have painted, and this decreases the terrible sense of isolation that we have all had too much of.” ~ Anne Lamott
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~ Maya Angelou
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.” ~ William H. Gass
“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” ~ Robert Frost
“Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ~ Toni Morrison
“Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” ~ William Faulkner
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” ~ Anaïs Nin
“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” ~ Anaïs Nin
“Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.” ~ Virginia Woolf
“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple. ~ Jack Kerouac
“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories—science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ~ Ray Bradbury
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” ~ Louis L’Amour
The truth is, we are all writers. We think, therefore, we can write. It is like walking—we just put one word in front of the other and keep going.
And then when you’re finished click and send…
“If you want to really hurt you parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut
Author: Alex Myles
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Flickr/Christian Gonzalez