Connect with Your Writing

Quotes #1

We are His workmanship [poema], created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
—Ephesians 2:10 NASB

It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer. Those who do not do this remain amateurs.
—Gerald Brenan

It is hard to convince people when you’re just staring out of the window that you are doing your hardest work of the day. In fact, many times when I’m sitting here thinking and therefore really working, I hear the door open and I quickly grab the pen and a piece of paper and start drawing something so people won’t think I’m just goofing off and anxious to have a little chat.
—Charles Schultz

Writing is a contact sport; like football, you can get hurt, but you enjoy it.
—Irwin Shaw

Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am.
—Thomas Merton

On many occasions, where you are going is exactly where you are.
—Norton Juster

What can any of us do with his talent but try to develop his vision, so that through frequent failures we may learn better what we have missed in the past.
—William Carlos Williams

The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.
—Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.
—Lewis Carroll

Imagination, imagination, imagination! It converts to actual. It sustains, it alters, it redeems.
—Saul Bellow

Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It is a way of understanding it.
—Lloyd Alexander

This world is but a canvas to our imagination.
—Henry David Thoreau

Those who dre
am by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
—Edgar Allen Poe

An imaginative novelist’s greatest virtue is his ability to forget the world in the way a child does, to be irresponsible and delight in it, to play around with the rules of the known world—but at the same time to see past his freewheeling flights of fancy to the deep responsibility of later allowing readers to lose themselves in the story.
—Orhan Pamuk

Many characters have come to me ... in a dream, and then I’ll elaborate from there. I always write down my dreams.
—William Burroughs

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
—Benjamin Franklin

Reflective Prompts #1

Do you write strictly from imagination or from research?
Do you think there’s an ideal combination of both?
What would your work look like if you dabbled more in the one that’s not dominant in your writing?
Could a little more imagination liven things up, or could a little more research ground your imagination in reality?
Does deep imagination belong strictly to the realm of fantasy and sci-fi, or can it apply equally to historical fiction, suspense, and romance?
Could a dash of imagination give your Bible studies and Christian living writing new life?

Quotes #2

Seeing is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.
—Jonathan Swift

We work in our darkness a great deal with little knowledge of what we are doing.
—John Steinbeck

I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.
—Anne Frank

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.
—Thomas Jefferson

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood, I’d type a little faster.
—Isaac Asimov

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
—Louisa May Alcott

Refection Prompts #2

What are your highest aspirations for your writing?
What are you doing to get there?
Picture yourself reaching your loftiest goals. Write what you did. Then consider how you are responding to it.

Quotes #3

The truth is, it’s not the idea, it’s never the idea, it’s always what you do with it..
—Neil Gaiman

Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

To create something out of nothing is a wonderful experience.
—Charles M. Schultz

It is not enough to be busy. ... The question is, what are we to be busy about?
—Henry David Thoreau

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.
—Linus Pauling, American biochemist

Reflection Prompt #3

Linus Pauling may not have been a writer, but his words ring true for writers. Many writers never see the first, or even their second or third, books published, so you must have a deep well of ideas. Use this weekend to come up with five new ideas for books, studies, articles, essays, short stories, poems, whatever it is you write. Don’t come up with one idea for each. Stay focused on your area of expertise and come up with five ideas. They don’t have to go anywhere, but this is prime time to spark the imagination.

Quotes #4

Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, bringing together people, citizens of distant epochs who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic.
—Carl Sagan

The good writer always aims at the impossible.
—John Steinbeck

My own experience of inspiration ... a dim cloud of ideas which I feel must be condensed into a shower of words.
—Stephen Spender

I trust in inspiration, which sometimes comes and sometimes doesn’t. But I don’t sit back waiting for it. I work every day.
—Alberto Moraviat

A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.
—Frank Capra

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost. The world will not have it.
—Martha Graham, American dancer and choreographer

It is a happy talent to know how to play.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change yourself.
— Maya Angelou

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

My work is loving the world, Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbirds ... Equal seekers of sweetness.
—Mary Oliver, American poet

Our aspirations are our possibilities.
—Robert Browning

The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.
—Samuel Johnson

Industry and determination can do anything that genius and advantage can do and many things that they cannot.
—Theodore Roosevelt

Talent is a mastery of quantity: talent doesn’t write one page, it writes three hundred.
—Jules Renard

There is no such thing as a great talent without great willpower.
—Honore de Balzac

Words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
—Lord Byron

In literature, as in love, courage is half the battle.
—Sir Walter Scott

Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.
—Leo Buscaglia

The world does not need more Christian writers—it needs more good writers and composers who are Christians.
—C. S. Lewis

Reflection Prompts #4

What do you think Lewis means by this?
What is the difference between a Christian writer and a writer who is Christian?
Which would you consider yourself? Explain.


To a Blank Sheet of Paper

Wan-visaged thing! thy virgin leaf
To me looks more than deadly pale,
Unknowing what may stain thee yet—
A poem or a tale.

Who can thy unborn meaning scan?
Can Seer or Sibyl read thee now?
No, seek to trace the fate of man
Writ on his infant brow.

Love may light on thy snowy cheek
And shake his Eden-breathing plumes;
Then shalt thou tell how Lelia smiles
Or Angelina blooms.

Satire may lift his bearded lance,
Forestalling Time’s slow-moving scythe,
And scattered on thy little field,
Disjointed bards may writhe.

Perchance a vision of the night,
Some grizzled spectre, gaunt and thin,
Or sheeted corpse, may stalk along,
Or skeleton may grin!

If it should be in pensive hour
Some sorrow-moving theme I try,
Ah, maiden, how thy tears will fall,
For all I doom to die!

But if in merry mood I touch
Thy leaves, then shall the sight of thee
Sow smiles as thick on rosy lips
As ripples on the sea.

The Weekly press shall gladly stoop
To bind thee up among its sheaves;
The Daily steal thy shining ore
To gild its leaden leaves.

Thou hast no tongue, yet thou canst speak
Till distant shores shall hear the sound;
Thou hast no life, yet thou canst breathe
Fresh life on all around.

Thou art the arena of the wise,
The noiseless battle-ground of fame,
The sky where halos may be wreathed
Around the humblest name.

Take, then, this treasure to thy trust,
To win some idle reader’s smile,
Then fade and moulder in the dust,
Or swell some bonfire’s pile.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Quotes #5

Whatever you would do, begin it. Boldness has courage, genius, and magic in it.

He has half the deed done who has made a beginning.

Commit they works unto the Lord and thy thoughts shall be established.
—Proverbs 16:3

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
—E. M. Forster

Great minds have purposes, others have wishes.
—Washington Irving

You’ve got to get up every morning with determination to be able to go to bed with satisfaction.
—George Horace Lorimer

Action is the foundational key to all success.
—Pablo Picasso

Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
—Pablo Picasso

The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.
—Roger Bannister, English athlete, record-breaking runner

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Good thoughts are no better than dreams, unless they be executed!
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

To a poet, nothing is useless.
—Samuel Johnson

The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were trekking upward in the night.
—Henry Longfellow

Mistakes are the portals for discovery.
—James Joyce

The only way that your dream can die is if you kill it yourself. If you do that, you will have condemned yourself along with it.
—Tom Clancy

The only reason for being a professional writer is that you just can’t help it.
—Leo Rosten

The greater danger for all of us liest not in setting our aims too high and falling short, but in setting our aims too low and achieving our mark.

Writing isn’t a game to me. ... Neither is it “a job.” It is my life. ... It enrages me to see people playing at being a writer.
—Harlan Ellison

The only thing more tormenting than writing is not writing.
—Cynthia Ozick

Many persons have the wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
—Helen Keller

Refection Prompts #5

How has writing changed your life?
How do you hope it will change the lives of your readers?
How have the changes in your life, the ups and downs, affected your writing?