Writing Tip Wednesday: Show Up.

Do you want to write a novel but are waiting for inspiration to strike? Maybe you have that idea but are struggling to keep motivated? Maybe you have the idea and motivation but are struggling to find the time to write?
Here are a few quotes from writers on inspiration and motivation that might help:

“Writers who wait for inspiration before they decide to write are generally known as hobbyists. Working writers-those actively writing and growing in their craft-must write whether the muse is “in” or not.”
– Kristi Holl.

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

“I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired to write at 9 o’clock every morning.”
– Peter De Vries.

“Write even when the world is chaotic. You don’t need a cigarette, silence, music, a comfortable chair, or inner peace to write. You just need ten minutes and a writing implement.”
– Cory Doctorow.

“Don’t just plan to write—write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.”
-PD James.

And Cassandra Clare shares this Secret Writer Mantra on her website that professional writers return to again and again to get them through the books they’re writing:


Here’s what it stands for:

Butt In Chair. Hands On Keyboard.

Sit down. Type. There is no secret formula to prevent you from becoming bored or distracted. Writing is work, like any work. It is not more fun or automatically not boring just because it is writing or because the story itself is exciting. Maybe you found the “actual writing” part easy, and revisions difficult. The problem there is that editing and revisions are also writing. They are just as necessary a part of the process as banging out a first draft. I know this isn’t very fun advice, but try to keep this in mind: how hard you work, unlike random inborn talent, is entirely up to you. If you work hard and complete your work, you’re ahead of 99% of people who want to write a book. Try to think of it as . . . inspirational.”

So there you have it. The secret is you’ve just got to write. Everyday. Even when you don’t feel like it. Even when life is hectic. Find at least twenty minutes and write. If you want to be a writer, a successful one, you’ve got to show up.

Happy Writing 🙂

11 thoughts on “Writing Tip Wednesday: Show Up.

    1. So true! I’d have to say that every day this week I haven’t felt like writing, but I sat down and made myself anyway. After about ten minutes I’d really get into what I was writing and not want to stop,

  1. The part of me that sometimes doesn’t feel like writing, for whatever reason, agrees but perhaps a few strands less than the other part of me, but I think all of me can say that this was pretty inspiring, Rochelle! Even though it’s what I dream of being, I always struggle to imagine thinking of writing as “work” because the way I guess I’ve always thought of both aren’t synonymous. Can you really have so much fun with your work? Of course, but for some reason it seems giddily unbelievable to me. Like a childhood dream I can’t quite bring myself to believe could be true. But writing IS work, absolutely, and I’m really thrilled that one day it might be the work I do full time.

    1. I find it hard to think of writing as work as well. But I guess when you get published and are dealing with agents and publishers, deadlines and tours it will feel more like work. I can’t wait to the day I get paid to write, and hope your dreams come true one day soon as well.

  2. Very inspiring. Thank you. Some days I let life get in the way. After reading this I am going to BUT IN CHAIR, HANDS ON KEYBOARD everyday. Thank you again.

    1. I think if you are having a day or two where life is really busy you have to cut yourself some slack, but if it’s not and you are just not writing then you need to be tough on yourself.
      I am so glad I stumbled upon But IN CHAIR, HANDS ON KEYBOARD too, it really is a great mantra to have.

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