Random But Inspirational Writerly Thoughts

English: The breakfast parlour at Sir John Soa...
English: The breakfast parlour at Sir John Soane’s Museum as pictured in the Illustrated London News in 1864. Category:Images of London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Here are some quotes which keep me refreshed, from the well of clear water produced by inspirational writers.




A writer’s job is to get outside one’s self, to pry, listen and eavesdrop, to find out what you don’t yet know. (Bret Lott)


There is nothing new in literature, there is no new way to tell a story, no more breakthroughs to be made.  It’s all about the details. (Bret Lott)


You don’t have to have a long track record to become interesting to an agent or publisher.


In creative writing you are always a beginner.  Once you feel you are an expert, you can’t write anymore. (J.L. Borges)


If poets are genuine, they must keep on repeating: ‘I don’t know.’  All they can do is keep on trying. (Naomi Shihab Nye)


If you can’t take the first step, take the second. (James Richardson)


After this life, we need a second life to apply the lessons we have learnt. (Dunya Mikhail)




Soane Museum 5
Soane Museum 5 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Another fantastic source of inspiration is the tiny but perfect study of the architect Sir John Soane at his quirky and lovingly renovated house/museum in London.



7 thoughts on “Random But Inspirational Writerly Thoughts”

  1. “Il semble qu’il y ait eu un temps où les livres nous révélaient l’homme; tous au moins ils nous familiarisaient avec lui et nous portaient à sa hauteur – s’ils ne le dépassaient pas.” ~ Jean Paulhan (Les Fleurs de Tarbes ou la Terreur dans les Lettres)

  2. I love these quotes! They give some good perspective. This is one I like from Agatha Christie: ‘The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.’

  3. My favorites are the first two you quoted from Bret Lott. We pry and eavesdrop and dig to find what we don’t know and then we search for details that will be unique to our story. Love it.

    And, Margot, I find that any labor that occupies the automatic part of my brain–dishes, cleaning, showering, whatever–frees the inventive part!

  4. I adore quotes like these. 🙂 The second one is fantastic. It reminds me of what Neil Gaiman says about art being original because of the voice of its creator. Nothing is original, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to write the same book your neighbor would if given a single writing prompt.

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