Harper Lee. Credit: Gwydion M. Williams
Whether you’re on the final stretch of finishing that manuscript, struggling to put pen to paper, or in need of some major motivation to finally query that publisher—we’ve got you.
We’re enlisting the words of some of the wise women who’ve come before us to motivate and inspire you to crush those goals and finally make major moves on your writing career. These ladies know a thing or two about overcoming obstacles and freeing their story, and it’s about time for you to follow suit!
Audre Lorde. Copyright Dagmar Schultz
1. “When we speak we are afraid that our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”
2. “I am no bird; no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
3. “The beginning is always today.”
4. “I’d love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”
Joan Didion. Copyright 1970 Julian Wasser
5. “Do not whine...Do not complain. Work harder. Spend more time alone.”
6. “We have become the men who we wanted to marry.”
7. “The best possible thing you can do with your life is to TACKLE THE MOTHERF**KING SH*T OUT OF IT.”
Ready to pitch your novel but unsure of where to start? Take a look at our Query Letter services to see how a professional editor can help you craft a persuasive pitch that will keep you out of the slush piles!
8. “Writers are not here to conform. We are here to challenge. We are not here to be comfortable—we’re here, really, to shake things up. That’s our job.”
Toni Morrison. Image by Bernard Gotfryd/Getty Images
9. “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
10. “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.”
11. “Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
12. “Before the moon I am, what a woman is, a woman of power, a woman’s power, deeper than the roots of trees, deeper than the roots of islands, older than the Making, older than the moon.”
—Ursula K. Le Guin
13. “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”
Virginia Woolf. Image by George C. Beresford/Getty Images
14. “Literature is impoverished beyond our counting by the doors that have been shut upon women.”
15. “Writing is a kind of revenge against circumstance too: bad luck, loss, pain. If you make something out of it then you’ve no longer been bested by these events.”
16. “I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all my femaleness because I deserve to be.”
—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Zadie Smith. Photograph by Sebastian Kim
17. “Stop worrying about your identity and concern yourself with the people you care about, ideas that matter to you, beliefs you can stand by, tickets you can run on. Intelligent humans make those choices with their brain and hearts and they make them alone. The world does not deliver meaning to you. You have to make it meaningful...and decide what you want and need and must do. It’s a tough, unimaginably lovely and complicated wat to be in the world. But that’s the deal: you have to live; you can’t like by slogans, dead ideas, clichés, or national flags. Finding an identity is easy. It’s the easy way out.”
18. “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am. I am. I am.”
19. “Revision is not going back and fussing around, but going forward into the highly complex and satisfying process of creation.”
20. “Instructions for living a life:
tell about it.”
You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers! If you’re interested in finding out how a professional editor can help you make your publishing dreams come true, download our Publishing Guidebook.