21 Writing Quotes on Getting Started

21 Writing Quotes on Getting Started

There is something very special about new beginnings. As I prepared to launch this blog I checked out some tips from well-known authors on ‘getting started’.

Is there any book or project you would like to complete but for some reason you haven’t started? The most difficult step is often the first one.

With that in mind here are my favorite writing quotes on the subject of “getting started” from some famous authors.

Scariest Moment

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” ~ Stephen King

Faucet Turned On

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” ~ Louis L’Amour

Get It Down

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.” ~ William Faulkner

Don't Be Nervous

“Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.” ~ Henry Miller

Jump Off Cliff

“Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.” ~ Ray Bradbury

Writes Every Day

“You want to be a writer? A writer is someone who writes every day – so start writing.” ~ Shonda Rhimes

Write What You Know

“Write what you know. Write what you want to know more about. Write what you’re afraid to write about.” ~ Cec Murphy

Go After It With Club

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” ~ Jack London

Don't Wait For Moods

“Don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work” ~ Pearl S. Buck

Know the Ending

“I always know the ending; that’s where I start.” ~ Toni Morrison

Notebook Jumpstart

“The point of a notebook is to jumpstart the mind.” ~ John Gregory Dunne

Notice Something

“Before you can write anything, you have to notice something.” ~ John Irving

Get Up Go To Work

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” ~ Stephen King

Like a Small Boat

“Writing a novel is like heading out over the open sea in a small boat. It helps, if you have a plan and a course laid out.” ~ John Gardner

Get Started to be Great

“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.” ~ Les Brown

Waiter not a Writer

“If you wait for inspiration, you’re not a writer, but a waiter.” ~ Anonymous

Change the World TW

“If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” ~ Martin Luther

Frightened at Moment

“All my life, I’ve been frightened at the moment I sit down to write.” ~ Gabriel Garcia Marquez

You Make Time

“You don’t find time to write. You make time.” ~ Nora Roberts

One Ironclad Rule

“The one ironclad rule is that I have to try. I have to walk into my writing room and pick up my pen every weekday morning.” ~ Anne Tyler

Something Delicious Writing TW

“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.”
~ Beatrix Potter

I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe it will inspire you to give your writing a kickstart.

Please let me know in the comments section below if you have any favorites or if you know of any other good quotations on this subject.

Gary McLaren

Gary McLaren is an author and digital entrepreneur. He blogs at Writers Unplugged and manages Worldwide Freelance Writer. He's been helping writers online for more than 16 years. You can also follow Gary on social media at Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

18 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    Gary —

    Great post! I’m sharing this with my writer’s group!


  2. Janet Contursi says:

    This is the one that struck me: “Write what you know. Write what you want to know more about. Write what you’re afraid to write about.” I’ve always assumed you have to have a thorough knowledge of a subject before writing about it (the old “Write what you know” advice).

    • Gary McLaren says:

      Hi Janet. It reminds me that many years ago I was on a debating team and we had no choice on the subject although we did know the topic well in advance. It usually required a fair amount of research and writing in order to prepare an entertaining and persuasive speech. Usually we did OK, even on subjects we didn’t really know beforehand. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  3. Cheri says:

    Very nice – thank you!

  4. The point of a notebook is to jumpstart the mind – John Dunne. In addition to my freelancing I am a poet. That notebook I have been keeping of words, impressions, phrases and thoughts for years is my jump starter for many a poem. Lots of good quotes there, Gary. I also liked Morrison’s quote about writing the ending and then knowing how to write the story. Great for fiction writers, also essayists.

  5. Gary McLaren says:

    Hi Sherry, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Even though I tend to have one main notebook at any time I find myself writing notes on all kinds of scraps of paper. But I find it does help to jumpstart the mind and get the creative juices flowing. This year I’ve been trying to do more of it digitally, using Google Docs and Google Drive.

  6. No excuses for not writing today. All the research and information is at the click of a key. What if we had to
    write on a manual typewriter & use carbon paper for a copy? Wear your pen & notepad like a necktie or jewelry, never be without
    it. Happy writing – however you have to do it, There is no high like accomplishment. .

    • Gary McLaren says:

      Hi Marie, I agree. Actually I can remember typing newsletters for a local organisation on special sheets which I understand were used in a Gestetner machine. What a long way we’ve come and it certainly is much easier to get the word out now. Thanks for your comment.

  7. Sara says:

    I love them all, esp. the one about beginnings. They are indeed the hardest and scariest but once you start – everything else kind of fall into place.

  8. Welcome back, Gary. Good luck with the new blog, it looks good.

    • Gary McLaren says:

      Hi Linda, thank you and welcome. I’ve added you to the newsletter as you requested. Please let me know if you have any issues receiving it.

  9. Mary Clark says:

    Tnx Gary, for the very wise words — I’ll add these quotes to my collection of favorite writers’ quotes. I want to share two favorites: “Writing Is The Supreme Solace” by Somerset Maugham, and one from the great industrialist, Henry Ford that applies to every endeavor: “If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re surely right.” Aloha.

  10. Luke Winters says:

    Great post Gary – some real inspiration there. Thanks for taking the time to post it!

  11. I love that you took the time to find all these inspirational quotes to help all writers jump start their work.

  12. Now I do love a good motivational quote and this was great, they’re all in one place. Yeah!

  13. Valerie Touboul says:

    The two quotations that really “call to me” were the ones by John Irving, ” Before you can write anything, you have to notice something” by John Irving and “All my life, I’ve been frightened at the moment I sit down to write” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. These two quotations describe the state of the writer, right before he starts. Also, it made me think about my students who are asked to write. For some, there is a problem for inspiration while for others, there is the reality of not seeing something to write about.
    Gabriel Garcia’s quote relates more to the accomplished writer, the one who is afraid of letting his hand take control…The one who lacks confidence and is afraid to “”get it down, take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good” (William Faulkner)

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