Whenever that happens, I like to read Page After Page by Heather Sellers, a professor of English at Hope College in Holland, Mich. It’s a short, easy read that is part Encouraging Exhortations and part Celebration of the Writing Craft. Although I’ve read the entire book, I’ve never gone straight through it. That’s because it so inspires me, I find I have to quickly return to my latest work-in-progress.
Heather has a PhD. in English/Creative Writing from Florida State University and previously taught at the University of Texas-San Antonio. She’s published multiple books: Georgia Underwater, Spike and Cubby’s Ice Cream Island Adventure, Chapter by Chapter and Page After Page.
So, in hopes of lifting your spirits, I’d like to share 13 quotes from Page After Page:
1. “To write, you need to simply write.”
2. “I have fabulous instincts. So do you.”
3. “Part of being a writer is paying extraordinarily close attention to what is in your mind.”
4. “Everyone starts out as a beginner.”
5. “You already know everything you need to know.”
6. “People who are writers probably used to ‘suck.’ It’s hard to believe, but you get better by staying with it, by not letting your ‘sucky’ work scare you too badly. Keep writing.”
7. “Anyone can learn writing technique. But there’s always a catch. As I said, you have to be able to tolerate your own bad writing. If you’re going to get better, you have to suck.”
8. “You need to sit down every day and write.”
9. “To develop a successful writing life, you must be able to focus and concentrate. Start small.”
10. “Successful, happy writers carry their writing around with them all the time. No matter where they are.”
11. “Ask every writer you meet for insights into the practice of writing.”
12. “Writing is very risky. Not for the timid. But nothing in the world feels better than falling backward off that mountain everyone else is laboring to climb and free-falling out into nothing -- trusting the secrets you know will mean something to someone else, making their climb richer and easier, and their view more thrilling and spiritual.”
13. “If you follow your heart, write only the pieces you alone can write. If you keep your mind open to learning, if you conquer lousy mental habits and self-defeating thinking, revise your work, join writing communities, and submit pieces to appropriate, well-researched markets, you will get published. Let me say this again. You will get published.”
Do any of Sellers’ quotes ring true for you? Which have meaning for you?
Do you have a favorite quote about writing? Please share.
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If no inspirational sayings come to mind, I’d like to encourage you to read this book ASAP. It’ll help jump-start your writing. It’s a feel-good book – ideal for people aspiring to write.