For Your Doubtful Writer Days

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by Chandra Smith

Merry Christmas ACFW. Well, almost Christmas. Of all days, today when I sat down to write this blog post, I had one a what-makes-me-think-I-am-a-writer days. I opened the little book I keep at my desk. I have filled it with Bible verses and quotes to help me through these days. As I flipped the pages, inspiration showed up. The following quotes are from my little book. Consider this my gift to you for your ‘what-makes-me-think-I-can-write’ days.

“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.” ~ Galatians 6:4 (MSG)

“We owe our readers fresh words to describe the rain.” ~By Cunning & Craft, page 28

“Good writing is supposed to evoke in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feel of being rained upon.” ~ E.L.Doctorow

“Don’t look for the right word… look for the exact word.” ~Angela Hunt

“The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as that between lightning and a lightning bug.” ~Mark Twain

“A writer should always feel like he is in over his head.” ~Michael Cunningham

“A writer begins by breathing life into his characters. But, if you are very lucky, they breathe life into you.” ~Cary Phillips

“It’s time to stop telling stories and start making movies—on paper.” ~Jeff Gerke

“When you can take parts of yourself and give them to your fictional characters, yet make them different from you, you will have succeeded in one of the most daunting journeys you will ever take as a writer.” ~Rachel Ballon

“It matters not if the world has heard or approves or understands … the only applause we’re meant to seek is that of nail-scarred hands.” ~B.J.Hoff

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ~Thomas Edison

“Rewriting—recognizing the opportunities that slipped away.” ~Randy Ingermanson

“God doesn’t require that we succeed. He only requires that we try.” ~Mother Theresa

“A writer must have all the confidence in the world when writing the first draft and none whatsoever when editing subsequent drafts.” ~T. Davis Bunn

“The first draft reveals the art, revision reveals the artist.” ~Michael Lee

“A story-teller is a life poet, an artist who transforms day-to-day living, inner life and outer life,, dream and actuality into a poem whose rhyme scheme is events rather than words—a two hour metaphor that says: Life is like this!” ~Robert McKee

“As a writer, one uses words as a kind of sandpaper, not to smooth out the surface, but to rub off the skin of the world and bring out what it’s really made of. This is a daily process.” ~Gregory Maguire

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” ~Ambrose Redmoon

“To experience the fanstastical you have to step into mystery.” ~Allen Arnold

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end!” ~Allen Arnold.

“Loafing is the most productive part of a writer’s life.” ~James Norman Hall

“Anyone can write one book and perhaps even sell it, and in the rarest of circumstances, become famous from it—because lightning does strike. To make a career of writing, though, you must take up the burden of making lightning strike regularly, where and when you want it.” ~Holly Lisle

Enjoy Christmas, loaf a while, but not too long. The world needs your stories. Here’s to hoping you make lightning strike! And in the words of the Greek artist, Apelles, “Nulla dies sine linea,” which means ‘not a day without a line.’

chandra-lynn-smithChandra Smith has been a member of ACFW since 2006. She is a 2016 Genesis Semi-Finalist, 2015 Genesis Winner, 2013 and 2014 Genesis semi-finalist, and a 2014 bronze medalist in the MBT Frasier contest. Chandra is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and owns Best Friend Dog Training and writes the column Letters From the Dog House for The Evening Sun. She lives on a small farm in South Central Pennsylvania with her husband and four dogs. She and her husband are the proud parents of four sons and joyous grandparents of the most beautiful granddaughter. Chandra writes contemporary fiction. Her stories are filled with inspiration, intrigue, romance and lovable canine characters.

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