The internet is overflowing with quotations from famous writers — wise words about beauty and honesty in writing, and plenty more about the difficulty of the craft, ignoring critics, and even what makes writing garbage. I’m a sucker for a good writing quote, and have a collection of bits and pieces to motivate (and, okay, sometimes reassure) me.
Some of the most motivating quotes are actually about the magical role of bad writing.
Check out a few of my favorites that’ll get you thinking about that first draft, being at work when the muse finds you, and not being afraid to spill every word on the page (and maybe burn it later).
You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.
That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.Octavia E. Butler
A person who wrote badly did better than a person who does not write at all. A bad writing can be corrected. An empty page remains an empty page.Israelmore Ayivor
You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.Saul Bellow
If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.Edgar Rice Burroughs
It takes a lot of bad writing to get to a little good writing.Truman Capote
I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing. . . . Dumbo got airborne with the help of a magic feather; you may feel the urge to grasp a passive verb or one of those nasty adverbs for the same reason. Just remember before you do that Dumbo didn’t need the feather; the magic was in him.Stephen King
Are you ready to shed your self-judgment and get all stream of consciousness? Hope one of these lights a little spark in you.
Have a favorite quote I’m missing? Do share!