21 QUOTES ON WRITING AND PERSEVERANCE
with introduction by Eric Elder
A few years ago I was in the midst of a writing project when my friend Greg Potzer sent me a collection of quotes on writing and perseverance. The quotes helped me so much that I wanted to share them with you today.
Why? Because I believe that many of you have a book on your heart that you’re wanting to write, but you just need encouragement to write it.
As a Christian, I have a passion for sharing Christ with others, and one of the ways I do that is by writing down the stories of what God has done in my life and in the lives of people around me. Like the Apostle John, who wrote the gospel of John in the Bible, I do this with the hope that people reading my stories will be encouraged to put their faith in Christ. John said:
“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31).
And John isn’t the only one who saw Jesus do miraculous things in people’s lives. John went on to say:
“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (John 21:25).
If I can write one or two books in my lifetime to help people grow closer to Christ, I know God can use them to touch many people. But if I can encourage all of you who are reading this message today to write one or two books to help people to grow closer to Christ, then we can reach millions!
When I was writing my first book, I happened to meet an author and pastor named Ray Pritchard who was speaking at a retreat I was attending. During one of the breaks, I was talking with Ray about my book project when he stopped me and said: “Think books, not book.”
I hadn’t even considered writing more than one book! I was just going to be happy if I could write even one book that could help people grow closer to Christ. But Ray’s comment inspired me, and instead of thinking of just one book, I started thinking of others, and that in turn helped me get my first book out the door – because now I had so many other books I wanted to write, too.
The truth is, it’s easier to publish a book today than it’s ever been before. You can do it yourself – for free! With print-on-demand services like Amazon’s Createspace, Lulu or Blurb, you can focus on writing your book and they’ll do the rest. You just upload a PDF file of your book, choose a cover, and they’ll print it, bind it and ship it to anyone, anywhere in the world.
I’ve published a dozen books this way over the last few years, including my recent two books called, “St. Nicholas: The Believer” and “Making the Most of the Darkness.” You can also do the same thing with music, uploading your music files to places like Amazon or CD Baby, and they’ll print and ship your CDs out for you. You can see all of our books and CDs on our website at theranch.org/bookstore/.
A few years ago, I taught a class on how to self-publish your books and music like this. You can still watch the class online for free on our website at this link: Self-Publishing Class.
In case you think I’m trying to sell you something, I’m not! All of our books and music are available for free to read or listen to online on our website (theranch.org) anytime day or night. We just make them available to people in other formats for their convenience. The only thing I’m trying to sell you on is the idea of writing down what God has done in your life so that others can benefit from it, too. My passion is to get the Word of God out to as many people as possible, whether it’s through my writings or yours!
With that as an introduction, and hopefully as a bit of inspiration, I’d like to share with you the collection of quotes that Greg shared with me that helped me get over a hump during one of my writing projects. I pray these quotes encourage you, too.
Quotes on Writing and Perseverance
On Persistence – Ernest Hemingway often worked for hours to perfect one paragraph.
“A poem is never finished, only abandoned.” Paul Valery
“Of the making of books there is no end.” King Solomon (Ecclesiastes 12:12)
“If it takes a lot of words to say what you have in mind, give it more thought.” Dennis Roch
“I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short.” Blaise Pascal
“From my first experience of writing a screenplay, I had learned something about the process of revision. You can always make something better, and if you make it worse, you’ll know it. I had learned to have no fear of rewriting. All writers should be so lucky.” John Irving
“You know that I write slowly. This is chiefly because I am never satisfied until I have said as much as possible in a few words, and writing briefly takes far more time than writing at length.” Carl Gauss
The story is told of an accomplished artist who was applying the finishing touches to a bronze sculpture. He kept filing, scraping, and polishing every little surface of his masterpiece. “When will it be done?” asked an observer. “Never,” came the reply. “I just keep working and working until they come and take it away.”
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison
“If you knew how much work went into it, you wouldn’t call it genius.” Michelangelo
“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.” Mother Teresa
“All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” Henry David Thoreau
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Seuss
“Quit now, you’ll never make it. If you disregard this advice, you’ll be halfway there.” David Zucker
“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though every thing is a miracle.” Albert Einstein
“Most of my friends who are novelists have told me that they never know the end of their novels when they start writing them; they find it peculiar that for my novels I need to know, and I need to know not just the ending, but every significant event in the main characters’ lives. When I finally write the first sentence, I want to know everything that happens, so that I am not inventing the story as I write it; rather, I am remembering a story that has already happened. The invention is over by the time I begin. All I want to be thinking of is the language- the sentence I am writing, and the sentence that follows it. Just the language.” John Irving
“Do not write so that you can be understood, write so that you cannot be misunderstood.” Epictetus
“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” Robert Frost
“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Rudyard Kipling
“When you sell a man a book, you don’t sell him 12 ounces of paper and ink and glue – you sell him a whole new life.” Christopher Morley
If you enjoyed our recent series on how to keep trusting in God even in the face of significant loss, you can now get a paperback version for yourself or family or friends. The book is called “Making the Most of the Darkness” and there are 3 easy ways to get a copy: 1) Buy the book directly from Amazon at this link, 2) Make a donation of any size to The Ranch from this link and we’ll send you a copy as our way of saying thanks, or 3) If you’ve already read these messages (as we’ve shared them online during the past year) and want to write a 1-2 sentence review on Amazon from this link, we’ll send you a complimentary copy of the book! Just email us your name, address and a link to your review. Your reviews help to get the word out about the book so we can get God’s Word out to even more people. Thank you!