• 3-minute read
  • 15th November 2019

5 Inspiring Quotes for NaNoWriMo Writers

We’re half way through NaNoWriMo! Hooray!

Every year, thousands of aspiring authors attempt to write a novel in November. But staying motivated can be tricky. That’s why we’ve found a few inspiring quotes from authors to share.

And if you’re taking part in NaNoWriMo this year, hopefully these words of wisdom will keep you going until the end of November!

1. If it’s writing time, I write. I may write garbage, but you can always edit garbage. You can’t edit a blank page. – Jodi Picoult

Here, Jodi Picoult hits on a fundamental truth of writing: you need to write something. Anything, in fact, especially when you’re aiming for 50,000 words in a month. It doesn’t matter if what you write isn’t perfect. It’s only a first draft, after all, and there is plenty of time for editing once the month is over.

For now, just write! You’ll be surprised how much progress you make.

Jodi Picoult discussing her novel The Storyteller.

2. Find your best time of the day for writing and write. Don’t let anything else interfere. – Esther Freud

Esther Freud’s advice here follows nicely from the previous quote, since writing a couple thousand words every day means you will hit your target easily. Therefore, it is important to find some time each day – ideally, whenever you feel most inspired –to get something written down.

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

A lovely simile here from E. L. Doctorow, as well as helpful advice. His point is that it doesn’t matter if you don’t know where your story is going while you write it. Writing is how you work it out.

It can even help to write yourself into corners! Why? Because if you find yourself not knowing where the story will go next, you’re forced to come up with a creative solution for what will happen. A story that is planned in full from the beginning may end predictably by comparison.

4. A problem with a piece of writing often clarifies itself if you go for a long walk. – Helen Dunmore

Here, Helen Dunmore reminds us to step away from the computer every now and then, as taking a break from writing will let you mull over any problems you’re having. Inspiration can strike at the least expected times, though, so make sure to take a notepad on that walk with you!

5. An old maxim says that a professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. – Richard Bach

Finally, a message of hope from Richard Bach. NaNoWriMo is designed to be a fun way to get people writing, but plenty of authors have ended up with published books at the end of it. So, don’t give up if writing your NaNoWriMo novel seems difficult. If you keep going, you will finish in the end. And it could be your first step into life as a professional author!

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