I’ve never been intimidated by a blank page or a brand new diary. When I was younger and in elementary school, I relished in-class writing assignments. Inspiration and ideas came easily to me, and I wrote fast and furious. Perhaps this is because I was a quiet student, who probably went days without speaking in class, so writing assignments gave me a chance to let loose all the thoughts that had been bottled up inside my head.
Most of the time when I sit down to write, I have little idea what will come out. I almost never work off of an outline, and even when I have a thesis or a direction I want to take my work, the writing seems to have a mind of its own. I feel that my job as a writer is to just let the words flow and the story will find itself. If I try to wrestle my words down to keep to some preconceived notion of what I am expected to say, I run the risk of missing something purer and truer.
Much more intimidating to me than the blank page is a work in progress. Are my words rebelling against my story and leading me astray? Has everything I’ve said been gibberish?
Below are famous literary quotes about persevering and finding form and structure:
The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with. ~William Faulkner
There is no method except to be very intelligent. ~T. S. Eliot
One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in them, to have the right ones form themselves into the proper pattern at the right moment. ~Hart Crane
Something that you feel will find its own form. ~Jack Kerouac
The task of a writer consists in being able to make something out of an idea. ~Thomas Mann
If the artist does not fling himself, without reflecting, into his work, as Curtis flung himself into the yawning gulf, as the soldier flings himself into the enemy’s trenches, and if, once in this crater, he does not work like a miner on whom the walls of his gallery have fallen in; if he contemplates difficulties instead of overcoming them one by one…he is simply looking on at the suicide of his own talent. ~Honore de Balzac
Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer. ~Ray Bradbury
It is perfectly okay to write garbage–as long as you edit brilliantly. ~C. J. Cherryh
Books aren’t written, they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it… ~Michael Crichton
Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good. ~William Faulkner
Do you plot out your entire work before you begin writing?