Staring at a blank page staring back at me.


Finding wisdom in the words of writers like Isaac Asimov.
Finding wisdom and inspiration in the words of writers like Isaac Asimov.

AS WRITERS, there are times when we must find ways to inspire ourselves.

Like every morning.

Get up.

Go to work.

Stare at a blank page.

Fill it up with words.

Write a beginning.

An ending.

A story.

A book.

A scene.

A chapter.

Or a novel.

It doesn’t matter.

All need a beginning.

And an ending.

You lean back and wait for the Muse.

He’s on leave.

He ain’t coming.

And when he does, he has little to say.

When your mind is as blank as the page in front of you, you look elsewhere.

I look for the words of writers, old and new, who have struggled to find the write words for the right sentence, fought the battle, and fought it well.

What do have to tell me?

How can they help me jump-start another story?

Here are my favorite hard truths about writing.

Sylvia Path: Let me live, love, and say it well in a sentence.

Stephen King: You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.

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

Jack London: You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

James A. Michener: I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.

Stephen King: Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.

Richard Price: You don’t write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid’s burnt socks lying in the road.

Nathaniel Hawthorne: Easy reading is damn hard writing.

Frank Herbert: There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.

G. K. Chesterton: A good novel tells the truth about its hero, but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.

Isaac Asimov: I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.

Sidney Sheldon: A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.

Those are the words that get me going in the morning.

What are the thoughts that inspire you from one day to the next?

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  • Caleb Pirtle

    These bits of wisdom from writers I admire and respect have made a difference for me. I hope they jump start some of your stories from time to time as well.

  • jack43

    It’s all about focus. Life is an intricate tapestry of stories, history an unending tale spanning all time. Thus, I’m never at a loss for one. When I pause in my writing, I am merely struggling to pick just one to focus on.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      That makes it difficult, Jack. I know. I’ve been there. It seems I am always about halfway through a book when I get a better idea for a new one. It would be real easy to sit here with a dozen books half written.

  • Darlene Jones

    Working with my writing partner gets me going. She sends a chapter for me to critique. I do that and I’m primed to get cracking on my own story.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      We all need a trigger to pull so we can fire that first shot every day.

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