Filling the Well

Are you weary?  Out of ideas that excite you? Tired of wrestling that manuscript into shape while trying to follow the “rules” of writing a novel?  Worried that your new book is too tired, too trite, too…something? Me, too. Next week, I have a couple of projects due to my publishers. I’m digging deep to find the creative, emotional, and physical stamina  I need to meet my deadlines.  I know I’m not alone. All working writers regularly reach a point at which it seems impossible to finish the novel, write the blog post, make the book signing.

We need to refill the well. One thing that helps me is to read the words of others whose work is way better than mine. Some are funny,  some are profound, all of them encourage me and renew my love for this maddening, impossible and completely exhilarating work we call writing. Here are a few randomly selected quotes that helped me this week. I hope they will renew your spirits, too, or at least make you laugh,  regardless of where you are on your writing  journey.

“Whatever our theme in writing, it is old and tired. Whatever our place, it has been visited by the stranger; it will never be new again. It is only the vision that can be new, but that is enough.”   Eudora Welty

“If there  is a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  Toni Morrison

“When the plot flags, bring in a man with a gun.”  Raymond Chandler

“The writer is the one who, embarking upon a task, does not know what to do.”  Donald Barthelme

“Most writers enjoy two periods of happiness–when a glorious idea comes to mind and, secondly when a last page has been written and you haven’t had time to know how much better it ought to be.”   Joseph Priestly

And, finally, this from EB White, author of Charlotte’s Web:  “I have no warm up exercises, other than to take an occasional drink.”

What’s your favorite quote?

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