Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Inspiration and Marshmallows!!

For a writer - Imagination is the marshmallow and Inspiration is the fire that burns it into that toasty, yummy treat that we all crave (oh, you know you do – admit it!). Sure, the marshmallow on its own is a great little sugar-fix. But, isn’t it sooo much better toasted? Smeared between chocolate and graham crackers? (ummm, totally!)

Imagination is a wonderful gift! But, that little bit of inspiration that makes us want to take our imaginings to a whole new place is key to a writer.

A few things brought me to this post idea this week. Reading Elana J.’s reflection on her successful year! Read even a little bit about her journey and her writing/blogging/everything!! processes and you’ll be inspired! And then the fabulous Jen Daiker, whose inspiration to blog about Harry Potter this week (shucks, why wouldn’t you?) opened up a great opportunity for her! (Sooo excited for you, Jen!) And then, of course, we’re still in the middle of Nano month. Who couldn’t use a little bit of inspiration about now?

So, I Googled “inspirational quotes by writers” and I’m sure the majority of you have probably read these all before, but in case you’re having one of those writing days where you need a good kick in the tush? Here’s what I’ve got for you:

“There are times when quantity is at least as important as quality in learning an art.” Lawrence Watt-Evans (An EXCELLENT one for Nano)

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” -Mark Twain (Notice I’m not keeping any of you away? That’s right – because you’re GREAT! Such a supportive, wonderful group of fellow writers I’ve found. *hugs!*)

“Experience is one thing you can’t get for nothing.” Oscar Wilde

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” E.L. Doctorow

“Becoming the reader is the essence of becoming a writer.” John O’Hara

“Read a lot, finding out what kind of writing turns you on, in order to develop a criterion for your own writing. And then trust it – and yourself.” Rosemary Daniell

“If you would be a writer, first be a reader. Only through the assimilation of ideas, thoughts and philosophies can one begin to focus his own ideas, thoughts and philosophies.” Allan W. Eckert

“Start early and work hard. A writer’s apprenticeship usually involves writing a million words (which are then discarded) before he’s almost ready to begin. That takes a while.” David Eddings

“Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the most. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out the window.” William Faulkner

“Write what you care about and understand. Writers should never try to outguess the marketplace in search of a salable idea; the simple truth is that all good books will eventually find a publisher if the writer tries hard enough, and a central secret to writing a good book is to write one that people like you will enjoy.” Richard North Patterson

“When I used to teach creative writing, I would tell the students to make their characters want something right away even if it’s only a glass of water. Characters paralyzed by the meaninglessness of modern life still have to drink water from time to time.” Kurt Vonnegut

“I write as straight as I can, just as I walk as straight as I can, because that is the best way to get there.” H.G. Wells

“There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be.” Doris Lessing

“The first thing you have to consider when writing a novel is your story, and then your story – and then your story!” Ford Madox Ford

“The task of a writer consists of being able to make something out of an idea.” Thomas Mann (This one goes good with my toasty marshmallow, am I right?)

“The difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make sense.” Tom Clancy

“If a book is not alive in the writer’s mind, it is as dead as year-old horse-shit.” Stephen King

“You must want to enough. Enough to take all the rejections, enough to pay the price of disappointment and discouragement while you are learning. Like any other artist you must learn your craft – then you can add all the genius you like.” Phyllis A Whitney

And ultimately - “He is able, who thinks he is able.” Buddha

(Source of Quotes found here)

So, you’re all like “King/Queen Inspired” now, right?  Good.  Now, go turn on that stove burner, stick a marshmallow on a fork, toast it, eat it….all set?  Now write!


Jess said...

I love these, especially the Faulkner quote, and the Doctorow quote, and the Vonnegut quote, and...heck, I just like them all :)

The Happy Whisk said...

Very fun post. And, I keep a bag of skewers in the pantry - just for toasting marshmallows. Toasted homemade marshmallows the other day. Nom nom nom.

Again, great fun post. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading these.

Elana Johnson said...

Oooh, I love the one by Wilde. It's so true. Sometimes we can't just accept someone else's word for things. We have to experience them ourselves.

Jen Daiker said...

This was so awesome!!! I love the marshmallow example, I'm all about toasted, with graham crackers and choclate... MMMmmmm. Now I'm craving one.

Shayda Bakhshi said...

Awesome quotes. I'm pumped, now!

Abby Minard said...

Great post Donea! I love the analogy. Perfect...and now I want a s'more!

Donea Lee said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! I'm glad you found a quote you liked! (and also glad I possibly boosted some grocery store sales with a mad dash for marshmallows, chocolate and grahams!) :)