How to Use Quotes to Smash Through a Writer’s Block

Do you struggle with writer’s block? Then smash it by using quotations.

Here’s how: Think about the following quotes and apply them to your writing. I’ve included some application ideas, but go beyond what I’ve suggested and see where the quotations take you.

Ready? Here we go.

“The good writer seems to be writing about himself, but has his eye always on that thread of the Universe which runs through himself and all things.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Application: Look outside yourself. What inspires you? How can you incorporate those inspirations into your writing? Get back to the basics and ponder how your environment affects your senses.

“Wait until you are hungry to say something, until there is an aching in you to speak.” — Natalie Goldberg

Application: Find a quiet place where you can be alone with your thoughts. Bring a notebook and a pen. Empty your mind, relax, enjoy the surroundings. Wait for a passionate thought to fill you. (It will!) Write it down. When you sit down to write, revisit that thought and use it to fuel your writing.

Now, consider these two diametrically opposed ways
of breaking through a block.

“I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten – happily, absorbed, and quietly putting one bead on after another.” — Brenda Ueland

Application: Write slowly. Carefully consider each word, sentence and paragraph. Think of them in terms of sizes, shapes, colors and patterns. Ask yourself if your writing lacks variety.

“The faster I write the better my output. If I’m going slow I’m in trouble. It means I’m pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.”– Raymond Chandler

Application: Write like a maniac. Don’t control the words; let them control you. Write without thinking. You may be surprised by the words and ideas that flow onto your paper or computer screen.

“If I didn’t know the ending of a story, I wouldn’t begin. I always write my last lines, my last paragraph first, and then I go back and work towards it. I know where I’m going. I know what my goal is. And how I get there is God’s grace.” –Katherine Anne Porter

Application: Begin at the end. Maybe you already know how your story ends, but how about the next chapter or the next paragraph? Write its ending first. Then go back and write toward the end.

Give it a try.
See if quotations can help break your block.


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Filed under Inspiration, Writer's Block, Writing Tips

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