You want to write, so you sit down to begin.
You stare at the blank page or screen. And stare. And stare.
After this happens a few times, you come to the conclusion: “I want to write, but I don’t know what to write about”. You shelve your writing dreams and believe you’ll never be a writer.
Here are some ideas disguised as quotes to banish blank page blues and get you started:
Write your truth
1. If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. ~ Toni Morrison
2. Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come the most unsought for are commonly the most valuable. ~ Francis Bacon
3. The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. ~ Neil Gaiman
4. I dare you all to write one more thing that you won’t say to my face. ~ Marilyn Manson
5. Write books only if you are going to say in them the things you would never dare confide to anyone. ~ Emile M. Cioran
6. Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. ~ Cyril Connolly
Write your experience
7. I write for myself things that I’ve gone through. ~ Dolly Parton
8. I write out of my intellectual experience. ~ Tom Stoppard
9. You write about what you know. ~ Larry David
10. And if you don’t live, you have nothing to write about. ~ James Maynard Keenan
11. If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it. ~ Anais Nin
Write what gives you pleasure
12. Never write anything that does not give you great pleasure. Emotion is easily transferred from the writer to the reader. ~ Joseph Joubert
13. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself. ~ Jack Kerouac
14. Usually, I walk and think about things. When I come across a thought that makes me laugh, I write it down. ~Demetri Martin
15. I like to write when I feel spiteful. It is like having a good sneeze. ~ D. H. Lawrence
16. Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for. ~ Ray Bradbury
Write to know more
17. I write books to find out about things. ~ Rebecca West
18. Writing a story … is simply an exploration of the nature of behavior: why people do what they do, how it affects others, how we change and grow, and what decisions we make along the way. ~ Lois Lowry
19. I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. ~ Joan Didion
In a nutshell…
Each day you sit down (or stand up, or lie down!) to write, you face different challenges to your writing. How do you decide what to write about? I look forward to hearing from you in the comments!