#WritingQuote – “Don’t let a single day go by without writing.”

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“Don’t let a single day go by without writing. Cause even garbage eventually becomes compost with a little treatment.” Alex Myers, author of The Jump

We love the imagery of agriculture Alex Myers brings into this quote so we get the picture instantly. Compost is basically decayed stuff transforming into fertilizer. Isn’t it awesome that nature teaches writers how to make the most of work they consider to be garbage?

To be honest with you, there is really no such thing as garbage writing. With a little treatment, editing, researching and all the other deliberate efforts that go into bringing beauty out of the ashes of your writing, something awesome can come out of it.

Alex is saying to you today, “DO not let a SINGLE day go by without writing.” Just write something – anything, with the knowledge that even garbage eventually becomes compost with a little treatment.

 

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#WritingQuote – Don’t be fake. You are more interesting as you truly are

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Ask questions. Never pretend to know what you don’t know, otherwise you will never learn. Read books. Do things properly. Do not write formal emails in text language where ‘you’ is one letter of the alphabet. Don’t be fake. You are more interesting as you truly are. Don’t measure yourself using another person’s yardstick. Be curious about the world. – Chimamanda Adichie (Nigerian), Author of Americanah.

This is some real life advice for your consumption. Great writers read other writers. That you are a writer does not mean you should be all-knowing. Be humble enough to read books and stop pretending like you know everything.

Another candid advice from Chimamanda is this: jettison the mask you wear and come out plain. Avoid being fake like it is a plague because it actually is. Be the interesting person that you are. Yes, you are really interesting. That boring life is what someone else may just be interested in.

Another thing Chimamanda emphasizes is measuring one’s self using someone else’s yardstick. This is what most writers are guilty of. You have got to learn that no writer is your standard measurement.

Lastly, be curious about the world. You see, this is really profound. Curiosity opens you up to knowledge about the world you live like never before besides, curious people always make the most amazing discoveries.

#WritingQuote – If you want to write you won’t find the time, you will make the time

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“Finish the damn book. You don’t know what you have until you’ve finished it. You don’t know how to fix it until it’s all down on the page. There is no magical motivation fairy. Success is 10% talent, 10% luck, and 80% blood, sweat, tears and determination.  If you want to write you won’t find the time, you will make the time.”                        Lauren Beukes,  Author of Broken Monster.

Lauren gives it to you straight from the heart and we absolutely love that about her!

First, if you do not actually write and finish your book, all you have is NOTHING. It is when you sit down to write that you have SOMETHING that you can fix and tweak. You can’t edit what is not written down already.

Secondly, there is no such thing as a magical motivation fairy. You have got to learn how to speak to yourself and encourage yourself really. You know we say this, ALL THE TIME.

Thirdly, talent is just a small part of the jigsaw puzzle when it comes to writing. The bulk of the puzzle is “blood, sweat and determination.” The process is not going to be all rosy.

Finally, there is never going to be enough time. All we have is twenty four hours. We know you wish we had thirty six hours in a day, don’t we all do? Sadly, that is never going to happen. Just like Lauren says, if you really want to write, you will not “find the time.” You would have to “make the time.”

PS: Lauren wrote her novel at night when she had a three-month old daughter and a full time job. You absolutely have no excuse!

 

#WritingQuote – “Don’t talk about writing. Don’t whine about writing. Write and then edit and edit again.” Nnedi Okorafor

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Don’t talk about writing. Don’t whine about writing. Don’t spend all your time obsessing over who wins what award. Write. And then edit. And edit again. Put in the work. Put in the time. Don’t try to get published too early. Don’t focus on making money or receiving praise, focus on been the best writer you can be.
Nnedi Okorafor, Author of Lagoon

We find this straight-to-the-point quote for today really refreshing. It is so relatable and that is what makes this quote relevant to us as writers. Think about it. How many times have you talked about writing, heard about writing and even read books about writing and yet, you haven’t brought yourself to write a single word, phrase or sentence about anything on your own.

Even when you eventually bring yourself to write, you still obsess about the award that you so badly want your writing to bring for you or the barrage of criticisms that may, most likely, follow your writing.

Nnedi Okorafor is speaking to you today dear writer.

Focus on your writing; focus on being the best writer you can possible be. Go beyond all of the talking about writing and actually write and then edit and edit again. There is no crime in editing. Remember, let your focus remain on you and what you can do to improve you. Seriously, no one becomes a great writer by doing every other thing related to writing except writing itself.

#WritingQuote – Stories can break the dignity of a people and they can also repair that broken dignity. – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity. – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Danger of a Single Story, Ted talks.

This is one powerful quote from a Nigerian literary icon. Can you see just how much power your stories possess? Your story matters. If you are out there thinking it does not, you are either lying to yourself or listening to the lies of other people.

Give your story the chance to do what it has the power and capacity to do. Look out for someone around you to empower and to humanize through your story. Your story has repairing power! Can you believe that?

Dear writer, don’t stop writing.  Let your words give somebody else a reason, a single reason to live and a reason to see the world from a whole new perspective. 

#WritingQuote – “All you need is passion for your work and an overwhelming desire to tell a story you genuinely care about.” Sefi Atta

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You do not need attention to write. All you need is passion for your work and an overwhelming desire to tell a story you genuinely care about. Readers can sense your sincerity and it separates you from the pretenders. – Sefi Atta, Author of Everything Good Will Come

Before we continue, allow us to say this – Thank you so much Sefi Atta for this brilliant quote! 

You do not need any attention or validation from anybody. When the passion for what you do is present, it will invigorate you to keep on writing and to tell that story or to tell the stories embedded deep within you even when you get discouraged, which you will sometimes get as a writer. It is important that you do not let go of your passion and your desire. As a matter of fact, let it consume you totally.

Never write about something you do not care about. This is very important. Yes, you are a writer and you can always string words together, whatever the topic is. But there is always a palpable difference when you write about something you deeply care about. You pour in your very self into the writings until people can read your work and feel your person in it. That creates a connection that enables you to reach out and touch that person’s heart or need.

Never forget to hold on to your passion and desire for what you do. Be sincere and write what you need to write. Your readers will be glad you did.

#WritingQuote – “It is perfectly okay to write garbage, as long as you edit brilliantly.” C. J. Cherryh

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It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.
– C. J. Cherryh

How many great books have you read? Probably a number of them. How many great books have been written? A lot more than we can ever count but do you know that a number of these books were once terrible first drafts that if we ever read, we would wonder how our favorite authors thought it fit to write such bad pieces?

Can you imagine how many errors, mistakes and cancellations each draft would contain? What makes the difference? Great editing.

What you see in a book is not all there is about the book, it is all the writer has chosen to show you. If only you could get the manusript and see how many times it was edited.

Use your one page blog post as an example. How many times do you go over and over, changing something new each time? How much more a book, a movie script, or an anthology.

Good writing doesn’t mean the absence of mistakes, good writing is in fact great editing and re-wriitng. Editing of words and sometimes refining of ideas until it makes perfect sense in the most beautiful way.

Don’t throw away your ‘garbage’ because it can be edited. It is perfetly okay to write garbage as long as you can edit briliantly.

#WritingQuote – “Write everyday of your life.” Ray Bradbury

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“Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” Ray Bradbury

There are three major lessons from this quote and we’d take each lesson one after the other. After this, we hope you will have a kind of blue print for what success as a writer is. 

Write.

Every writer has to do ONE major thing to deserve that title, write. If you are wishing you could write, thinking about writing or wondering how to write, you are not a writer. It’s that simple. 

Read.

Writers are readers. If you don’t like reading we are sorry to say this but you may not do very well as a writer. Writers read to relax, read to learn, read to get inspired and so many other things. Wondering what can make you a better writer? Reading is one of those things. 

The third point may be the most important because that’s one thing most of us are having issues with. 

Do it everyday!

Before you complain that we are asking for too much, remember that this is for your own good. If you however insist that you can’t do these two things – reading and writing CONSISTENTLY, then maybe writing really isn’t for you. 

#WritingQuote – “Style means the right word. The rest matters little.” – Jules Renard

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“Style means the right word. The rest matters little.” – Jules Renard

Have you read some books and wondered how the writer could write so beautifully yet you can’t point to anything significantly special in the writing style? This is probably because the writer has found a way to put the right words in the most appropriate spots to create magic, making it difficult for you to drop the book. 

This is an art every writer has to learn. Once you do this, your readers will find it easy to read your work and they’d love you much more.  There are a thousand and one rules that exist for writers to follow and sometimes trying to remember and fit all into your writing can be hectic. What you need to do instead is make sure you use the right words.  Avoid Clichés and be as descriptive as possible.

Use words that evoke strong emotions. For example, it is not every time a person cries, there are times they weep or sob. Differentiating these may just be what will make your writing fab. 

Once you get this right, the rest doesn’t really matter, 

 

 

#WritingQuote – “In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the content of your mind, your heart, your soul.” Meg Rosoff

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Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul. – Meg Rosoff

For those who have never understood all the plenty talk on writing voice, this quote by Meg is apt!

There are many writers who try to shape their writing voice or at best make it sound like the voice of a writer they admire. While this is not bad, such writers face the risk of losing their own authentic voices. 

Dear writer, your writing voice is precious. It is unique to you, your mind, your thoughts and your heart. Don’t be afraid to flaunt it and do incredible things with it!