I have a box of quotes about writing and life that I look to for inspiration. Usually, I read one before i start writing everyday and try to keep it in mind as I work. Right now I’m in the editing stage of my current projects so i figured I would look through and see if I could discuss some of these quotes and break down what they’ve taught me.
The one that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is by Toni Morrison.
It goes like this, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
This has been a guiding principle for all of my novels. I think of a interesting story that i would to read and i try to write it. Though honestly, this has led me astray at times.I’ve pursued an impractical idea that I had little chance of pulling off.
But it has also brought me comfort. No matter what you creative endeavour is, you will inevitably compare yourself against the works of others. You’ll wonder why yours isn’t like theirs. The differences can gnaw at you make you think that you’re doing it wrong. That you should do what they do instead. Taking your own path can be scary because you have to find it.
It can be hard to remember that likely everyone felt the same as you do now at one point in their lives.
Thats what I like about this quote so much. It gives you permission to do your own work.
More than that, Morrison implores you to. Without you the book will die, will never be made. Thus you must write it. You owe it to yourself to stay true to your vision and create what you set out to create.
You can follow my writing adventures at James Bee