The seemingly insurmountable peril of writer’s block is well-documented for a reason. It is one of the most frustrating obstacles that an author can encounter and has been the cause of many sleepless nights. Thankfully, being in the writing business and all, the wordsmiths that have come before were sure to leave behind a few kernels of knowledge and inspiration to help fend off the anguish that arises when the words won’t come. If you’re starting to think you might be ready to throw the towel in, read on to regain your motivation and get yourself back on track.
“Write a little every day, without hope, without despair.”
― Isak Dinesen
The acclaimed Danish author of Babette’s Feast and Out of Africa, Karen Blixen, who wrote as Isak Dinesen, left this simple yet sincere piece of advice. Her words serve as a reminder that the struggle of writing is largely a creation of the writer’s own mind, and that the act of writing need not always be approached with great profundity. At the end of the day, Blixen’s suggestion is the foundation that the writing life is built on.
“It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.”
― Ernest Hemingway
If you feel yourself succumbing to the unfortunate symptoms of imposter syndrome, allow the words of the renowned Ernest Hemingway to guide you back to the light. Whether or not your perceived notion of how easy or difficult writing is for other authors is true or false, at the end of day, it’s up to you and you alone to become the writer you were meant to be.
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
― Sylvia Plath
Speaking of imposter syndrome, there’s no room for it here! Take up Plath’s challenge to approach your craft with ingenuity and bravery. There’s a good chance you’ll surprise yourself.
“A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
― Thomas Mann
And for the days when the only option seems to be to wallow in self-pity, comfort yourself with the knowledge that you’re in good company. The pull of writing is a blessing and a curse to be sure, but really, would you have it any other way?
“For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.”
― Catherine Drinker Bowen
You know the feeling! Remind yourself of past writing successes and continue on with the belief that you’ll once again strike gold.
“Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.”
― Annie Dillard
A more vibrant and energizing incarnation of the old adage, “don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today,” Dillard’s advice evokes a timeless proverb because it is, simply put, very good advice. Seize the day and write on!
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