The Myth of Writer’s Block: 5 Encouraging Quotes from Writers

I contemplated manipulating the concept of Writer’s Block into an 8th maxim for 7 Writing Maxims and what to do with them, but I found so many great quotes, I decided to make it its own post. And then I decided I wanted to be able to pin all of them to my writing Pinterest board, so I made them into images. Enjoy!

There is no such thing as writer’s block.

…You’re just not writing.

The Myth of Writer's Block | writelarawrite (click for more quotes)

The only cure for writer’s block is to write. Write even if you don’t know where you’re going. Write out all the problems you are trying to solve. Then write down what won’t work, and what might work but probably won’t, and what is cliche, and what is unexpected, and what is unusual.

Here’s a bunch of quotes for you that basically all say the same thing—when you’re blocked, just write anyway! (P.S. If you’re on Pinterest, Pin away.)

The Myth of Writer's Block | writelarawrite (click for more quotes)

When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up. —Pixar story artist Emma Coats

The Myth of Writer's Block | writelarawrite (click for more quotes)

Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking. —William Butler YeatsThe Myth of Writer's Block | writelarawrite (click for more quotes)

You fail only if you stop writing. —Ray Bradbury

The Myth of Writer's Block | writelarawrite (click for more quotes)

There’s a phrase, “sitzfleisch,” which means just plain sitting on your ass and getting it done…—Peter S. Beagle

The Myth of Writer's Block | writelarawrite (click for more quotes)

Stuck? To ease yourself back into writing, try these Daily Writing tips.

Need some more motivation? Check out my motivational posts here.

Got questions? Ask away in the comments.

Mother Writers


Well, in a week I’ll be finished with my last design project for a while. This won’t be a complete sabbatical, since I’ll design some stuff for my Etsy shop, I’m sure, but it is a break from commissioned work, which is rewarding, but also very, very time- and brain-consuming.

I’m also giving birth in the next month(ish), so that will take up quite a bit of time and brain power. However, I would like to take this opportunity to get back to writing, even if it’s slow going.

How & when do mothers write?

That’s something I’m trying to figure out. Apparently there’s a book on the subject? (If you’ve got tips, please share.) The more I read about writers, the more I see a pattern—if they are women, they aren’t publishing while raising very small children. But I think they are still writing and reading, and I should be writing and reading, too, even with a toddler, puppy, and soon-to-be howling, hungry infant.

The baby steps are these:

  1. Read one literary novel each month
  2. Read short fiction and poetry once a week
  3. Create and execute one writing assignment biweekly or weekly
  4. Finish one poem or flash fiction piece per month

Eventually, the idea is I’ll get up to writing 1,000 words per day (excluding blogging and status updates), and then work my way up to 2,000 words per day.

That last one could take about ten years, or until the last of our brood is of school-age. We are well on our way to becoming brunette, American Weasleys over here.

Read one literary novel per month

I’ve got a book club going, and we are working through the Newbery (US) and Carnegie (UK) Medal Winners for juvenile fiction. They are short, simple reads that are deemed literary by librarians. Good place to start.

Read short fiction and poetry each week

The idea is to get as many contemporary voices into my head as possible. The Newbery and Carnegie medals are awarded each year, so 90% of the winners aren’t contemporary writers. I probably won’t blog on these a bunch, because that will soak up my writing time, but I’ll post recommended readings (what I liked) to my Facebook page. Feel free to share your own recommended readings for short fiction and poetry there, too! I’ll also post recommended readings on my blog under the Reading and Poetry tabs. (I just added one there this morning—check out Amy McCann’s “Human Climate” via Revolver)

Writing assignments and finishing poems

In an attempt to write more poetry and short fiction, I’ll be posting weekly or biweekly writing assignments here on the blog and then completing them for myself. The idea is that by the end of the month, I’ll have at least one I can turn into something more polished. I’m calling these short assignments “Fifteen Blinks,” the idea being that, whether the piece yields poetry or prose, you could read it in about 3 minutes.

If you want to join me on these assignments, please let me know! If I know other people are participating, I’m much more likely to stick to it and keep generating writing exercises. It’s an accountability thing.

I honestly have no idea what day of the week I’ll be posting Fifteen Blinks. Mondays I’m going to try to devote to motivational works and Author Chats. It’s going to be irregular at best, so your best bet is to subscribe to WriteLaraWrite via email (see right column for sign up) or follow me on Facebook.

Author Chats: Ethan Rutherford


This is my first Author Chats post! I debated about which category I should file these under, and settled on Motivation Monday. Future Author Chats will be available on the Author Chats page!Motivation

Note: This post includes affiliate links. If you purchase from these links, you are supporting Write Lara Write! (I’d get about a penny per purchase.)

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of hearing Ethan Rutherford share one of the short stories about to be published in his book The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories.

He read “Camp Winnesaka,” a desperate camp counselor’s tale of how they lost so many campers one fateful year, while attempting to get spirits (and enrollment) up. It was a terribly amusing dark comedy, and once Rutherford mentioned that many of his stories involve ships blowing up, I decided exactly what I’d be getting my husband for his birthday this year.

Since I didn’t actually conduct an interview with Rutherford, I just listened to the reading and then briefly chatted with him about writing, reading, and being an at-home parent, I’m just going to list my notes below in a semi-coherent matter. Note that these are not direct quotes, they are paraphrases. I am no court stenographer.

On Reading

Read like a maniac and read all sorts of writers.

Recommended reading:

On Writing

Just get the draft out. You don’t know what the story is about until it’s written.

And just try to tell a good story—don’t set out to write some big, deep message.

Write about things that make you uncomfortable.

To students of writing: You ease up on yourself as you get older. It’s easier to write when you aren’t panicking all the time.

About plot and character: Ask yourself, “What kind of person would do X, Y, Z?”

On his process: Rutherford writes in the same place, at the same desk, listening to the same music playlist, to get him ready to write. He also reads up to the point where he stopped before.

On Motivation

Make a list of what gets you creative. (Mine? Reading good literature, especially poetry. Watching movies that inspire me to create new worlds. Listening to my “creative inspiration” playlists. Experiencing life, being human and being around other humans.)

Every writer’s motivation and inspiration ebb and flow in a cycle. Once you go through the cycle a few times, you’ll begin to recognize where you’re at on the cycle, and you’ll know how to get back on top of things. (I like to think of them as “rainy seasons” and “dry seasons”.)

On Being an At-Home Parent / Writer

(I didn’t take notes during our chat, but we came up with the same conclusion:) Once your kid is mobile, good luck.


That’s all I’ve got! I’m filing this under “Motivation Mondays” also, since I’m a bit late in posting, and this fits in both categories. Take some time and find out if there are readings or book signings or author talks in your local area. It’s always a great inspiration to me to hear other people read their own stories and talk about the writing process, because each writer is so different. And don’t forget to fill your heads with different writers by constantly reading new voices. If you can’t make time to read, you certainly can’t have time to write.