17 Quotes that will Inspire You to Finish What You Write

Everybody-is-talentedToday I’m celebrating the completion of my book manuscript, Christ is For Us!!

And no, the exclamation points will not be part of the book title when it’s published by Abingdon Press later this year. Christ is For Us is a lectionary Bible study series for Lent 2017, so I imagine that the exclamation points would be a bit much, although since I emailed my manuscript off just last night, I feel they’re totally appropriate in this blog post. I’m FINISHED!!!!!

Writing can be hard work, and finishing even harder–every time I read something I’ve written, I just can’t help changing something. But–thanks to many prayers and the movement of the Holy Spirit–I’m finally done–at least for now–so today I’m sharing 17 of my favourite quotes that helped me get to this point. [Italics added for clarity–please see comment below] I hope they’ll inspire you to start and finish what you write too!

  1. Don’t be paralyzed by the idea that you’re writing a book. Just write. – Isabelle Allende
  2. Well, why not finish? It may not be the greatest thing in the world, but then again it might be, and you never know it might spark someone or something else. – David Adams Richards
  3. This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard. – Neil Gaiman
  4. It isn’t going to write itself – Unknown
  5. A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than for other people. – Thomas Mann
  6. Ship often. Ship lousy stuff, but ship. Ship constantly. – Seth Godin
  7. If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word. – Margaret Atwood
  8. If you wait for inspiration to write, you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter. – Dan Poynter
  9. Writing to me, is simply thinking through my fingers. – Isaac Asimov
  10. I write. He writes. She writes. They write. We all revise. – Write Tee T-shirt
  11. Half my life is an act of revision. – John Irving
  12. Everybody is talented, original and has something important to say. – Brenda Ueland
  13. Writing is an act of faith, not of grammar. – E.B. White
  14. Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on. – Louis L’Amour
  15. I just say to myself, “Just give it another hour. Just plod along, one foot in front of the other.” And then six months later I see it’s a beautiful piece. – Virginia Cartwright
  16. I do not admire giving up. – Janet Burroway
  17. Now stop reading and go write something. – April Yamasaki

Prompt for Writing or Reflection: What’s your favourite quote that inspires you?

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10 replies

  1. Great reminders of important truths, April. Thanks!

    • You’re so welcome, Shirley. Enjoy your summer vacation from blogging–I’m glad that I subscribe so I won’t miss any posts if you happen to dip back in now and then. Enjoy everything that’s rising for you!

  2. CONGRATULATIONS, APRIL! We’ve been praying for you in this process, (our Sacred Pauses), and so we feel we have a part in it, too!

    Looking forward to reading what you have written!

    Blessings,

    Mary

    • oh yes, Mary, without many, many prayers and the movement of the Holy Spirit, this project would never be completed or even started! The Abingdon invitation came to me “out of the blue” since it was not something I had gone looking for, but of course the Spirit moves in mysterious ways! I’ll add just a few words to my original post to make that clearer. Thank you for your prayers and support!

  3. Thank you April. Your blog post is a well-timed encouragement for me. I’ve just agreed to the biggest writing project of my life. Needless to say it comes with a deadline that has the uncanny power to paralyze.

    When I am overwhelmed with a project I look to the wisdom of Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird”.

    “Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’s had three months to write. (It) was due the next day….He was at the kitchen table…immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’ ”

    Today I will start with a bird.

    • I love Anne Lamott’s writing and advice–so much of what she says applies to writing and life in general, doesn’t it? I’m excited to hear of your writing project–sounds like a milestone for it to be the biggest project so far! All the best as you continue bird by bird 🙂

  4. Awesome motivation here, April. There is no feeling on earth like the “I’m finished” statement at the end of a big project, like a book! Love these!

    • Thanks, Melodie. I love being “finished” even though I know there’s more to come with possible revisions, copy-editing, etc. It’s a lovely plateau before the next stage of the journey!

  5. This quote strikes me: “I just say to myself, “Just give it another hour. Just plod along, one foot in front of the other.” And then six months later I see it’s a beautiful piece. – Virginia Cartwright”

    In the world of blogging it is so hard to see the long term goals and results. I appreciate the vision this quote brings. Thank you for sharing!

    • You’re so welcome, Leah. I love how this quote combines our effort of persevering with the unfolding that happens over time that we’re hardly aware of. It applies so well to blogging and other writing too.