Author Quotes: Bach.

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

I was scoping out this article about what to do when you don’t feel like writing (an absurd concept, really, but I thought it would be helpful for those times when I can’t focus on writing), and they used this quote to emphasize the fact that, hey, tough cookies. You don’t want to write? Too bad, do it anyway, and I couldn’t agree with that more.

“But, L.S.!” you may insist. “When I force myself to write, it’s not any good! It doesn’t feel natural. It’s really, really bad!” And that’s the point. Get all that bad writing out of your system so you can get back to the good stuff. None of us are 100% all of the time. And just because we put something bad down on the paper now doesn’t mean we can’t turn it into gold later (or just pitch it in the trash and laugh, whatever works).

I am a huge, huge, huge advocate for “never quit,” and to always push yourself to write something even if you’re not “feeling it.” Soulless came about like that. There were times when I absolutely loathed that book, I wanted to toss it aside and work on something else, something new and shiny, but I forced myself to buck up and keep forging through straight on until the end. And you know what? Now it’s published and out there in the world with a really spectacular review from an author I respect. If I’d have just given up, it would probably be festering somewhere in a drawer instead of being enjoyed by dozens (okay, a dozen, maybe) readers right now.

Never, ever, ever quit. Keep pulling through, even when it gets a little rough. Because you never know what might come out of anything, and some of our best moments come from conquering the worst.


  1. I agree with this, mostly. I think there does come a time when your creativity burns out, and you should take a week off to get your muse back. Or at least, take a week to work on something else. Maybe read a few books instead of writing for a bit – I consider reading a valuable way for a writer to spend their time!

    But always go back to it. Never let yourself get into a sense of complacency, or give up entirely. Never let hopes and dreams go unfinished because you don’t “feel” like it, or because you feel like the writing is bad. If one part of the book gives you trouble for weeks, work on some scenes that you *do* want to write. By the end, you won’t let those last 3000 words keep you from having a finished book.

    • I think everyone is a little different in that respect. See, for me, if I set it aside and shift my focus on something else entirely, it will fall to the wayside. I need to spent at least a little part of each day still hacking at it, though my energy might be on something else. During the roughest parts of Soulless, I forced myself to still write at least a page a day, and it made a huge difference in getting through it. Once that page was written, I could do things I enjoyed more to revive me, but getting that page written was essential.

  2. I try to keep myself to a strict writing routine, and I’ve found it really works for me. I write 5 days a week, but don’t have a burn out because I take a break.

    It really is all about just keeping going and then going some more 😀 Great post!

  3. I actually put 15 minutes of writing on my daily list on HabitRPG. Then I HAVE to do it or my whole party will take hits. Then on my habit list, I put another 15 minutes, so for every 15 minutes I go over (an hour is ideal), I get to check it off. (This wasn’t an original idea, but a suggestion from a friend.) This game is so motivating. Because I LOVE rewards.

    And that means a lot to me that you linked to me in the “an author I respect”. It made my heart sing. 🙂

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