Goodreads Blog

12 Motivational Quotes on Writing to Inspire for #NaNoWriMo

Posted by Cynthia on November 6, 2017
Many creative writers hunker down in November to participate in what is known as National Novel Writing Month, or #NaNoWriMo if you use Twitter. It’s an exercise in persistence – after all, a 50,000 word novel doesn’t just write itself! To help writers along, we’ve pulled together some inspirational quotes and practical advice about writing from some of the authors nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award this year.

"Stay faithful to the stories in your head."
Paula Hawkins, author of Into the Water
Nominated for Mystery & Thriller

"Resist the urge to tell your friends and family about your story ideas. Make a rule for yourself that the only way anyone will see your stories is by you writing them."
Andy Weir, author of Artemis
Nominated for Science Fiction

"Keep writing, even when you feel it sucks. And read absolutely everything you can get your hands on."
Kate Quinn, author of The Alice Network
Nominated for Historical Fiction

"Figure out what scenes make your story your story, and go from there. Use them as mile markers and find your way between them."
Victoria Schwab, author of Our Dark Duet
Nominated for Young Adult Fantasy

"Write the story in your heart and not the one you think will pay the most money."
Brenda Jackson, author of Forged in Desire
Nominated for Romance

"Seek out a community of writers who are at the same stage as you to get feedback and emotional support. It's important to get better at your craft, but those friendships will also sustain you through the ups and downs of publishing."
Sandhya Menon, author of When Dimple Met Rishi
Nominated for Young Adult Fiction

"Worldbuilding can be a lot of work. I try to see where things are linked together—and also to keep mundane details in mind. Just those, put together, give you a kind of rudimentary skeleton to start hanging things on."
Ann Leckie, author of Provenance
Nominated for Science Fiction

"I never start writing until I know my characters inside and out and how their story will end. Make sure you keep your eye always on the stakes of the story."
Jeff Zentner, author of Goodbye Days
Nominated for Young Adult Fiction

"Read lots of books which serves many purposes but also shows you what you love to read, what author voice you connect to, and what POV works for you."
Morgan Rhodes, author of Crystal Storm
Nominated for Young Adult Fantasy

"Be smart about how you're targeting the people you are querying and to do your research ahead of time. There are strict rules about a query letter. Read up on them, seek out agents who represent the work you write, and be confident about your work."
Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Nominated for Historical Fiction

"I find a place to work that lets me focus, which for me is a quiet corner of an upstairs room by a small window, in a chair that lets me shift position every fifteen minutes. For you, it might be a coffee shop with headphones, or a spot outside, or your own bedroom."
Francesca Zappia, author of Eliza and Her Monsters
Nominated for Young Adult Fiction

"I think Steve King said 'read, read, read and write, write, write.' I would also add 'keep your butt in that chair.'"
Karen Marie Moning, author of Feversong
Nominated for Fantasy

Are you participating in #NaNoWriMo? Share your experience—and what keeps you motivated—in the comments below!

Next: Self-Published Thriller 'Silent Child' Created Noise and a Goodreads Choice Nomination

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Comments Showing 1-20 of 20 (20 new)

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message 1: by Laura (new)

Laura Great quotes! Love the one about the cake understanding. Also
good advice about talking about your plot. My mother, a successful Confession writer, used to say "Save the energy for the page. Don't talk it out." Laura Kennedy "See Mommy Run", "Affairs, Fibs and Felonies".

message 2: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Langer Perhaps the most useful advice I received when working on my historical fiction novel, "Anita's Revolution", was to resist including passages that are digressions which do not serve to develop character or plot. Such digressions not only slow the flow but may turn the reader off altogether.
Shirley Langer, Anita's Revolution", "Road's End: Tales of Tofino"

message 3: by Kate (new)

Kate McVaugh My inspiration for this year came from visiting the NaNoWriMo HQ. My Visit to NaNoWriMo

message 4: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Shannon Kate wrote: "My inspiration for this year came from visiting the NaNoWriMo HQ. My Visit to NaNoWriMo"

That's a great post, Kate! Thanks for sharing!

message 5: by K.S. (new)

K.S. Trenten Thank you for sharing this with us!

message 6: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lauer My inspiration this year for doing NANOWRIMO is twofold. First, I have a deadline for the third book in my Civil War series and so my publisher requested that I write the book this month. The second is, for six hours a day, I can have an escape from the stress of taking care of an aging parent. Writing 1,667 words per day, or essentially one chapter in my book, seems relatively easy compared to everything else I'm dealing with at this moment. Feel free to check out the first book in the series, A World Such as Heaven Intended, winner of the 2016 CALA award, on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Book No. 2, which I wrote last year during NANOWRIMO, will be published 4/1/2018. Thanks!

message 7: by Laura (new)

Laura Amanda,

You are an inspiration to every writer! Just downloaded "A World Such as Heaven Intended". Anxious to read it. Laura Kennedy

message 8: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lauer Laura wrote: "Amanda,

You are an inspiration to every writer! Just downloaded "A World Such as Heaven Intended". Anxious to read it. Laura Kennedy"

You're so kind! Thank you!

message 9: by Darryl (new)

Darryl Frayne Thanks for this! I like the Andy Weir quote, but even "Resist the urge..." is enough. :)

message 10: by T.L. (new)

T.L. Clark Thanks for this.

I am one such author. I broke through the halfway barrier yesterday; yay!

It's certainly giving me focus. Having a target keeps me going.

My quote would be from Nike, "Just do it."
Sit down, write. Write until you can write no more. Repeat.


message 11: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Pierre I love this post! <3

message 12: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Shannon T.L. wrote: "Thanks for this.

I am one such author. I broke through the halfway barrier yesterday; yay!

It's certainly giving me focus. Having a target keeps me going.

Nice! Sounds like you're right on schedule. Keep going!

message 13: by Edward (new)

Edward Hackemer 1. I find a time, and a destination.
2. I find my character.
3. I place my character on whatever transport is available.
4. I tag along and write it all down; the detours, accidents, bumps and triumphs.
Sangria Sunsets

message 14: by Gina (new)

Gina Iafrate The Girl From The Corn Field and The English Professor, were written late at night. My quiet time. I am a plot driven Author,
the Characters seem to drive me during my chapters. Yes how write it is to write from the heart. Our passion is not about money, love of literature and story telling for the world at large; is our reward.
Gina Iafrate.

message 15: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Brotherton This is the 2d year that I have worked with the city of Williamsburg, VA to establish a NaNo program in the library. I love inspiring others to write. We brought in published authors and publishers to give the wrters a sense of "what happens next" after they finish. Setting aside every Monday night in November gave the writers an "appointment" to write. It's been a lot of fun,
- Dawn Brotherton, Author of the Lady Tigers Series, Jackie Austin Mysteries, and Softball Scoresheet.

message 16: by Kim (new)

Kim Fall in love with your MC, and be sure you're honest with his/her flaws, shortcomings, strengths, dreams and fears. They needn't be things that are stated overtly in the writing. But if you're clear about these character aspects in your mind and think of your MC as a real person, your feelings about that character will develop subtly and seem less heavy-handed in your manuscript.

This is my third NaNoWriMo experience. My first novel was drafted during NaNoWriMo 2012, and last year, I re-wrote it and published it. This year, I'm working on a new book, and I'm finding that, even with a plot-driven novel (very different from my first), having a well-rounded, strong MC I know inside and out drives everything else.

message 17: by Tyler (last edited Jan 22, 2018 04:23AM) (new)

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message 18: by Davidgroooms (last edited Jun 26, 2018 12:16AM) (new)

Davidgroooms Yesterday I read a literary magazine and came across this author. I decided to read more about him. I want to write about him a short esse PapersOwl Canada . My friend advised me on a site where there are useful tips for writing this text. I was glad to see the tips.

message 19: by Maxtenison (new)

Maxtenison It is interesting to read your blog post and I am going to share it with my friends.republic

message 20: by Novin (new)

Novin Ghalam Wow, thank you.By the way, you can check my last work for look at . It was an essay about Renaissance and way of thinking in those times.

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