Well just look at you: halfway through NaNoWriMo and still going strong. Your plot is chugging along nicely, your characters are surprisingly cooperative, your coffee pot hasn’t given up on you yet, and your spirits are as high as your word count — or maybe not so much. Maybe you’re actually in dire need of some NaNoWriMo motivation. Luckily, I’ve got just the thing for you: inspirational quotes from writers, on writing.
I’ll admit, I’ve never actually racked up a whole 50,000 words during any single month of November, but from others who have, I’ve heard this is right about the time when a writer begins to lose steam. You’re approaching the sloggy, drudgery middle of your novel, and suddenly you’re not entirely sure you can go on. All those coffee-fueled, sleepless November nights of writing are starting to catch up with you, and your novel is beginning to feel the effects. Well fear not, dear writer, because we’ve all be there — even those of us who are loyal NaNoWriMo failures. This is something you’ll get through. You just need a little pick-me-up.
Here are nine quotes to motivate you halfway through NaNoWriMo. Keep on writing on. I’m cheering for you from my own keyboard.
1. “Keep in mind that for most of history people just made things, and they didn’t make such a big freaking deal out of it.”
— Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
2. “The writer trusts nothing he writes — it should be too reckless and alive for that, it should be beautiful and menacing and slightly out of his control.”
— Joy Williams, Why I Write
3. “Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it.”
— Stephen King, On Writing
4. “What might seem at first hopeless is actually a gesture of love and recovery. The writer forces herself to look, not to turn away, in order to recover something that the rest of us need, and might not at first want to see or acknowledge: human frailty itself.”
— Robin Hemley, A Field Guide for Immersion Writing
5. “Write with great truthfulness; work harder than you thought possible; have passion, enormous, sweeping passion. Give it first to your work. Let your work have all of the passion it requires, and whatever is left, put into your life.”
— Ann Patchett, Why I Write
6. “Literature can remind us that not all life is already written down: there are still so many stories to be told.”
— Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin
7. “Sometimes language is less about what we can make other people understand than about what we’re able to explain to ourselves.”
— Michele Morano, Grammar Lessons
8. “Great books, like great cities, always let us find things we think are only in us and couldn’t possibly belong elsewhere, but that turn out to be broadcast everywhere we look. Great artists are those who give us what we think was already ours.”
— André Aciman, Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere
9. “There are no bad words. Only bad ways to use good words.”
— Alexandra Fuller, Leaving Before the Rains Come
Image: base2wave/flickr; Giphy (10)