I’m in the ever-difficult second draft stage of my little hopeful novel. It’s challenging, and I come across a lot of road blocks that make me wonder if I’m going in the right direction, if this makes sense, if this is anything at all.

Luckily, I’m not alone! Because guess what? EVERY writer/artist/human has struggled with this sort of thing when it comes to creativity. So here are a few inspiring quotes from authors and creators to remind us that our art is our own, and really, there’s no perfect or right way to do it. It just needs to be done…by you.

 

1. “Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.” Ray Bradbury

 

2. “Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” Ray Bradbury

 

3. “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Sylvia Plath

 

4. “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” Richard Bach

 

5. “Write more. And remember that everyone who writes anything good wrote a lot of bad stuff first. You are learning, be kind to yourself, just as you would be kind to anyone learning to do something hard, like juggling or ballroom dancing or surgery. Learn from your mistakes, and get better, and one day you’ll write something you won’t loathe. (Also, it’s fine to dislike something you’ve written. But don’t dislike yourself for having made it.)” Neil Gaiman

 

6. “The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” Neil Gaiman

 

7. “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Toni Morrison

 

8. “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” Margaret Atwood

 

9. “Be an unstoppable force. Write with an imaginary machete strapped to your thigh. This is not wishy-washy, polite, drinking-tea-with-your-pinkie-sticking-out stuff. It’s who you want to be, your most powerful self. Write your books. Finish them, then make them better. Find the way. No one will make this dream come true for you but you.” Laini Taylor

 

10. “I am not fearless. I am terrified but I write anyway. I pretend no one is going to read my words and I try to make sense of this world that is so breathtaking and beautiful and complicated and hideous.” Roxane Gay

 

11. “Start before you’re ready.” Steven Pressfield

 

12. “The most important thing in writing is to have written. I can always fix a bad page. I can’t fix a blank one.” Nora Roberts

 

13. “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” E.L. Doctorow

 

14. “I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.” Joss Whedon

 

15. “Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” Barbara Kingsolver

 

16. “Everybody makes their own fun. If you don’t make it yourself, it isn’t fun. It’s entertainment.” David Mamet

 

And lastly, because I love a full circle, let’s bring it back around to Mr. Bradbury again…

17. “YOU ONLY FAIL IF YOU STOP WRITING.” Ray Bradbury

 

So YOU! And YOU (in which I mean me)! Go forth and WRITE!