I have this printed out and hung up on my wall. I see it throughout the day and it’s always a solid reality check for me. When I have unproductive days (or weeks), this is the quote that burrows into me, quiet and collected, ringing true.

Never hope for it more than you work for it. If I don’t put in my best effort, how can I dare to expect anything more?

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Maybe some of you can relate.

I mean, some of the time my thoughts come out better in writing. But pretty much ALL of the time I talk, it comes out, like, I wish I could say English wasn’t my first language. Because then I could blame it on a language barrier, but really it’s just a brain-to-mouth barrier.

Shoot. Maybe my words don’t sound better coming from anywhere. THAT’S OKAY AT LEAST MY DOG LIKES ME.

Anti-Rebels

“The next literary “rebels” in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles. Who treat of plain old untrendy human troubles and emotions in U.S. life with reverence and conviction. Who eschew self-consciousness and hip fatigue. These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started. Dead on the page. Too sincere. Clearly repressed. Backward, quaint, naive, anachronistic. Maybe that’ll be the point. Maybe that’s why they they’ll be the next real rebels. Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. Today’s risks are different. The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the “oh how banal.” To risk accusations of sentimentality, melodrama. Of overcredulity. Of softness. Of willingness to be suckered by a world of lurkers and starers who fear gaze and ridicule above imprisonment without law.”

– David Foster Wallace

I could see this, actually. I think it also brings up a good point – writing what you want to write, not for shock factor or anything else. Just to write the story or poem or whatever it is you have flitting about in your head.

Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.

– Mark Twain

I love this quote. I’ve got the English language stored up in my brain. I’m imagining my entire story floating in my skull like a cube of words, and I just need to cross out the irrelevant words and the story will spill onto paper.

If you don’t think there is magic in writing, you probably won’t write anything magical.

– Terry Brooks

As the air gets cooler and the leaves begin to change outside my window, it’s easier to believe in something magic.

It’s easier to feel that my story could take on a life of its own, that could dive into it and get lost, that I might be able to wrap the words around me like a blanket as I sit hunched over my laptop, typing away.

To suspend the voice inside my head that worries and frets and corrects as I write, and simply let the words take over – you can feel magic in that place, all mist and colors and stories swirling.

A pro to writing YA.

You’ll relive your teenage years — again and again. I was one of those teens who always wanted to be older. When I was 12, I used to look at the rental ads in the back of the newspaper and freak out about how I’d ever afford my own place. Now that I was a twenty-something, it was kind of fun to go back and relive all the drama and uncertainty that comes with being afraid you won’t get into your first-choice college or the deflating rage of spotting your best friend making out with your crush… and then head out to happy hour and be grateful for my over-21 adult status.

– Anna Davies, “Confessions of a YA Ghostwriter”

I wasn’t particularly thrilled at the prospect of putting myself back into the mindset of a teenager, because those weren’t my finest years. I dealt with a lot of emotional issues then, and the idea of putting myself back into that headspace intimidated me. But this is such a nice way to look at it.

I’ve conquered those teenage years and have moved on. Now I’m an aimless twenty-something who feels totally lost and has no idea what she’s doing with her life. So ha, teenage years! It could be fun writing about you. Because now I can at least drink legally. But really, this helped me see it in a much more positive light.