One of my favorite authors who I am grateful to be able to call a writing buddy, Ellen Meister, recently posted an inspiring quote from J.D. Salinger on her blog. You can read it here: Side Dish.
I’d never read this particular quote, but I found it very inspirational. I love quotes, especially by writers or about writing. When I hit a roadblock in my writing, I troll the internet for inspirational quotes. Every year I put a quote in my Christmas card—something that means something to me and that I hope will mean something to my friends and family.
Anyway, Ellen’s quote got me thinking about some of my favorite writerly quotations. One of my absolute favorites and one that I try to live my writing life by:
“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.” — Elmore Leonard.
Here’s one that’s a little less light-hearted, but one that I also love:
“The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.” — Maya Angelou
That quote right there is why I rewrite and rewrite some sentences. I don’t know if I’ve written sentences that go straight to my readers’ hearts yet, but I’m working on it.
But I have to give one of my favorite authors credit for really nailing why I write, and why I try to write something new every time. Mark Twain said it best, didn’t he, when he said:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain
I hope one day I will have broken new ground in the writing game. If not new ground for other writers, at least new ground for me.
Don’t forget to breathe today!