Quote It! Maya Angelou

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

― Maya Angelou, an American poet, memoirist, actress, and civil rights activist. (b. 1928)

Oh so true.

Some of the stories inside are happy, some sad; some decadent, some holy. But whether happy or sad each is on the inside fighting to get out. And their struggle–for it is my struggle as well–causes pain.

Do I struggle to write them from fear of failure or from fear of success? Or just from fear?

We all know “butt in chair.” What else do you do to extricate the stories in you? Share below.

Michael Ehret, for Writing on the Fine Line

Quote It! Isaac Asimov

You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist.

–Isaac Asimov, American author best known for his science fiction. (1920-1992)

This is where many authors fall short. They give up too soon. If you believe in your work, and have talent, you must keep at it. You cannot let what seems to be a dead end defeat you. (Preaching to myself, too.)

How do you keep on in the face of rejection and lack of success? Share your tips and encourage someone else.

Michael Ehret, for Writing on the Fine Line

Quote it! St. Augustine

“God has promised forgiveness to your repentance; but he has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.”

St. Augustine, (November 13, 354 – August 28, 430)

Procrastination. My longtime enemy and the enemy of many writers.

  • To-do lists don’t work for me. I’m not driven by placing tick marks next to a task.
  • Guilt is a poor motivator–unless you’re my mother.
  • Success? This can actually be a de-motivator.

One thing motivates me: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

What motivates you? How do you use that to your advantage?

Michael Ehret, for Writing on the Fine Line

Quote It! Ernest Hemingway

“I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.”

–Ernest Hemingway

From what I understand, Hemingway always chose his words carefully. He “learned” to never empty his well, means that he probably emptied his well a time or two before he learned that, hmmm, that’s not such a great idea.

How do you keep your writing well full? Or, when it gets low, what do you do to prime the pump and get the water flowing again? I could use your suggestions.

Michael Ehret, for Writing on the Fine Line

Quote It! Madeleine L’Engle

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”

― Madeleine L’Engle

L’Engle had a profound effect on me as a teen after I discovered her A Wrinkle In Time series:

  • A Wrinkle In Time (1962)
  • A Wind In The Door (1973)
  • A Swiftly Tilting Planet (1978)

Up to that time I had not read anything so imaginative. Tolkein was soon to follow.

Thanks to my (older) sister for sharing her books!

What books first ignited your creative flame?

Michael Ehret, for Writing on the Fine Line

Quote it! Mark Twain

“The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say.”

Mark Twain, American author and humorist

Love Twain! He was a great curmudgeon.

The idea behind this quote is rich. When you think you’re done that’s when you should begin. It’s certainly been true in many articles I’ve written. Curse you deadline!

Maybe we should begin writing earlier?

Michael Ehret, for Writing on the Fine Line

Quote it! Logan Pearsall Smith

“What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.”

Logan Pearsall Smith, “All Trivia,” Afterthoughts, 1931

As a writer, I find it much harder to whisper and be understood than to shout. Shouting is easy. The problem with shouting is it makes listeners–and readers–cringe. And it automatically raises one’s defenses.

Think about a whisper. To hear it and take in the meaning, you have to be close to the one whispering–almost intimate. And what you hear in a whisper is embraced, taken in, pondered.

On Tuesday: Come back and join award-winning author Linda Rohrbough In The Edit.

Michael Ehret, for Writing on the Fine Line

Quote it! Norbert Platt

“The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.”

Norbert Platt

This is one of the things I love most about writing–it makes me think deeply.

What about writing helps you regain your equilibrium?

Michael Ehret, for Writing on the Fine Line