Daily Archives: March 6, 2012

The Quotation Dogs

With apologies to Quinton Terentino, here’s this round of quotes for a Tuesday.

I often quote stuff that’s inspiring, current and even will make one think.  In this case, it’s a few quotes about success (which can include success in writing) and one from Neil Gaiman which describes what I’m going through right now: writer’s block.  More on that later.  For now, here’s the quotes.

Success is measured not so much by the position one has reached in life as by the obstacles he has overcome. ~author unknown

This next one, is from Neil Gaiman.  This is his answer to a tumblr user who asked how to deal with writer’s block.  Today it feels very close to home.

English writer Neil Gaiman. Taken at the 2007 ...

Image via Wikipedia

You turn off your inner critic. You do not listen to your inner police force. You ignore the little voices that tell you that it’s all stupid, and you keep going.

Your grade isn’t suffering because your writing is bad, it’s suffering because you aren’t finishing things and handing them in.

So, finish them and hand them in. Even if a story’s lousy, you’ll learn something from it that will be useful as a writer, even if it’s just “don’t do that again”.

You’re always going to be dissatisfied with what you write. That’s part of being human. In our heads, stories are perfect, flawless, glittering, magical. Then we start to put them down on paper, one unsatisfactory word at a time. And each time our inner critics tell us that it’s a rotten idea and we should abandon it.

If you’re going to write, ignore your inner critic, while you’re writing. Do whatever you can to finish. Know that anything can be fixed later.

Remember: you don’t have to brilliant when you start out. You just have to write. Every story you finish puts you closer to being a writer, and makes you a better writer.

Blaming “Writer’s Block” is wonderful. It removes any responsibility from the person with the “block”. It gives you something to blame, and it sounds fancy.

But it’s probably more honest to think of it as a combination of laziness, perfectionism and Getting Stuck. If you’re being lazy, don’t be. If you’re being a perfectionist, don’t be. And if you’re stuck, figure out where the story went off the rails, or what you got wrong, or where you need to go deeper, or what you need to add to make it work, and then start writing again.


Posted by on March 6, 2012 in Fun, randomness


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