Collecting Inspiration

I attended a workshop at a writer’s conference last year in which one of the speakers said something that has stuck with me ever since. When I’m writing and find myself explaining things or trying to interject backstory, this quote always comes to mind. It’s one of many quotes which have helped make me a better writer. Perhaps it will help you, too.

“Don’t tell me how the watch is made when I just want to know the time” — Deborah LeBlanc

What quotes inspire you? Which ones have affected the way you write?

14 comments on “Collecting Inspiration

  1. Susanna says:

    Ooh, this a great one. It would certainly serve me well! I also like Anton Checkov’s “Don’t tell me the moon is shining. Show me the glint of moonlight on broken glass.” (Or something close to that :))

  2. lbdiamond says:

    That is a great quote!

    Similarly, the best writing is when you become so invested in the story that you don’t notice the writing.

  3. Don’t get it right, just get it written. -James Thurber
    Don’t be a writer. Be writing. -William Faulkner.
    These inspire me to, y’know, *write*.

    Start on the day that is different. -Lois Lowry
    A quick and easy reminder to get into the story as soon as humanly possible without making the story impossible to follow.
    – Sophia.

  4. That’s a good line – of course, sometimes you do need to explain if the watch is reliable or not. 😉

    Did you have a good time at the writer’s conference? I’ve never been do one of those, though I’ve gone to a few one-day workshops, some sci-fi conventions with writing panels, and I’m on the waiting list for a six-week workshop – wish me luck!

    I’m starting up a ‘Critiquing Crusaders’ program, where participants in the Second Crusade can find other writers to exchange critiques with or form critiquing circles. If you’re interested, come by The Kelworth Files to check it out!

  5. What a brilliant quote!

  6. Nicole Mc says:

    Love this!! It makes perfect sense. I will definitely be coming back to that quote.

  7. Joy says:

    That quotes does say it all. My writing coach put it this way – Always assume that the reader is more intelligent than you are.

  8. That’s a great quote! I love Anton Chekov’s – that’s one of my favorites.



  9. @Clarissa & Nicole – thanks.
    @Joy – sounds like your coach gives good advice. When we give our readers credit, we spend less time explaining things they already know.
    @Rachel – It is an awesome quote.

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