20 Inspiring Quotes To Help You Finish Writing Your Book . . . This Year

My work is helping people get their ideas out of their head and into the world so those ideas can make a positive difference for others and a prosperous living for you. Ideas in your head help no one.

In the 20 years I’ve had the pleasure of helping people become published authors; I have never met any who were sorry they wrote their book; they were only sorry they didn’t write it sooner.

I’ve collected 20 inspiring quotes to help you finish that book you’ve been talking about. Post these where you see them throughout the day. Keeping your intentions in sight, in mind can hold you accountable for writing every day . . . even if it’s a single page.

I promise you, when you hold your completed book in your hands and hear from people how it influenced them; it will be one of the most tangibly satisfying achievements of your life. It will be a legacy that outlives you – a contribution no one can take away.

1. “If you wait for inspiration to write; you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.” – Dan Poynter

2. When asked the secret to finishing his 500 page masterpiece The Power of One, author Bryce Courtenay growled, “Bum glue!”

3. “If my doctor told me I had only 6 months to live, I’d type a little faster.” – Isaac Asimov

4. “Inspiration usually comes during work, not before it.” – Madeleine L’Engle

5. “I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at 9 am every morning.” – Peter DeVries

6. “I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper.” – Steve Martin

7. “I made a startling discovery. Time spent writing = output of work. Amazing.” – Ann Pachett

8. “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see to the end of your headlights; but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E. L. Doctorow

9. “Ever tried and failed? No matter. Try again and fail better.” – Samuel Beckett

10. “It’s never too late – in fiction or in life – to revise.” – Nancy Thayer

11. “The way to resume is to resume. It is the only way. To resume.” – Gertrude Stein

12. “Best advice on writing I’ve ever received. Finish.” – Peter Mayle

13. “When I am writing, I am doing the thing I was meant to do.” – Anne Sexton

14. “You can sit there, tense and worried, freezing the creative energies, or you can start writing something. It doesnt matter what. In five or ten minutes, the imagination will heat, the tightness will fade, and a certain spirit and rhythm will take over.” – Leonard Bernstein

15. “I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged. I had pieces that were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avioding sending them out.” – Erica Jong

16. “Once you’ve done the mental work, there comes a point you have to throw yourself into action and put your heart on the line.” – Lakers basketball coach Phil Jackson

17. “The faster I write, the better my output. If I’m going slow, I’m in trouble. It means I’m pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.” – Raymond Chandler

18. “When you speak, your words echo across the room. When you write, your words echo across the ages.” – Chicken Soup for the Writers Soul author Bud Gardner

19. “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg

20. “I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” – Pearl S. Buck

Bonus Quotes

21. “If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent. Who am I? What right have I to speak? Who will listen to me? You are a human being with a unique story to tell. You have every right.” – Richard Rhodes

22. “A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage.” – Sydney Smith

Make this the year you have the courage of your convictions that you have an intriguing story to tell, a worthwhile message to share.

Take responsibility for getting your ideas out of your head and into the world. I guarantee, you’ll never regret writing your book; you’ll only regret not writing it. . . sooner.

Best wishes and . . . write on.

  1. Great quotes and words to live by. I’ve written 7 adventure travel books and am now creating my own line of mini reads. Love the creative process. Joei Carlton Hossack at http://www.joeicarlton.com

  2. Your blog gets better every time I read it (mostly because I’m “getting it” a little more each time!) Thanks for the post, Sam!

  3. Those quotes were GREAT, and they really inspired me!. I am a first time writer, I have four books I am writing, been wanted to write since I was a child.Reading these quotes should be inspiring to everyone.

  4. Between me and my wife we would have to say this is an genuinely informative post that needs mentioning elsewhere. This is for 2 types of people: current writers who are considering a new position, and people trying to pick to become a writer.

  5. Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

    I’m glad these quotes are inspiring you to make your book a reality. Finishing a quality book will catalyze things that exceed your fondest hopes and dreams.

    Here’s another quote to inspire you to write on.

    “Write while the heat is in you.” – Henry David Thoreau

    I call that “jot the thought when it’s hot.”

    When you do, writing isn’t work, it’s fun. The thoughts will flow out of your head so fast, your fingers won’t be able to keep up.

  6. motivational speakerslike Zig Ziglar say!

  7. I was catching up on your blog as a way of procrastinating working on my second book! Thanks for the kick in the pants with these quotes.

  8. Dear Sam:
    This is a great post. Thank you.

    But, in the time since you created this list, I wonder if you might have discovered some great quotes to update the list?

    Best wishes–


  9. I take every opportunity to reread these quotes. I love them. When I last wrote I was working on my 2nd mini. I’m just about finished my 3rd mini and have a great idea for my 4th.

    Thanks for keeping me inspired.

    Joei Carlton Hossack at http://www.joeicarlton.com

  10. Thanks for the quotes, they’re really inspirational.

  11. Jot the thought when it’s hot…..that’s about the best reminder I’ve heard to date about making a note of something before it’s forgotten. Keep up the great work.
    Since I like to keep everyone up-to-date on my work. My 3rd mini read is out (Morocco – Without a Pit to Hiss In) and selling well and a 4th is being edited.
    Joei Carlton Hossack http://www.joeicarlton.com

  12. I just finished my book, completely edited and everything. It’s DONE, quite literally fifteen minutes ago. These quotes were still inspiring and motivating me to jot down all my ideas no matter how lame or how unlikely they’ll develop into something more. They also motivated me to start working on the sequel again. 🙂 Thanks!

  13. love the quotes.

  14. I really need help to finish writing my book. I speak French and very good English but I would need some push to move on. I am stocked right now and also need an editor and publisher. i
    I have so many ideas but how to put them down together to make a living. I need to work hard to finish writing this wonderful book on my conversion into christianity.