There are just a few things in the world as weird as being a writer. We pour ourselves to our work, giving it all we have, pushing rejection, overcoming one hurdle after another, hoping our job will be noticed. In this strange and reckless pursuit, it’s important that we hold onto a few truths which may keep us based, inspirational quotations for authors that will remind us exactly why we compose.
At times, the ideal place is in movies.
Four Film Moments for Writers
There are a lot of movie moments that I maintain in my mind since they inspire me. Here are four films and their inspirational quotations for authors that I’ve leaned on this week:
Are you crying? Are you crying? There’s no crying, there is no crying in baseball!
–Jimmy Dugan at A League of Their Own
Observing a lousy play, the coach of the Rockford Peaches, Jimmy Dugan (played by Tom Hanks), yells in one of the players. As he walks away, the player begins to shout. Jimmy ends up on the player and provides this iconic quote.
There lots of things about writing which makes me want to shout. This week, as an example, one of my books was given a very honest three-star inspection that exposed each the book’s defects.
It was not that I didn’t understand the defects were there. I knew they had been there. I had just hoped nobody else would see them. When the critic laid them bare to the world, I wanted to shout.
What I really like about the Jimmy Dugan quote is that there’s profound truth behind it. Tears might feel great in the moment, but wallowing in these may blind us to truths we need to listen to. In writing, exactly like in baseball, then we need to take our mistakes, learn from them and get back out to the field and play the next inning.
We can be sad for a moment, but there’s work to be performed and we’re those which will need to do it.
Perhaps it’s not a critic making you wish to shout. Perhaps you dropped NaNoWriMo this past year? Or perhaps you’re dissatisfied with your own work? Or perhaps life is making it difficult to find the time to crank out the words.
No matter the stressor is, just remember the words of Jimmy Dugan. Stiffen your upper lip, look in the mirror, and say, “Are you crying? There’s no yelling. There’s no yelling in writing!”
In this life, you do not have to prove nothin’ to nobody.
–Fortune at Rudy
In the movie Rudy, Fortune (Charles Dutton) is also a wise groundskeeper and mentor to the movie’s protagonist. In one scene, Fortune finds Rudy (Sean Astin) skipping football practice. When Fortune asks Rudy he would like to quit, Rudy explains that he quit because he was not going to be able to play at the upcoming match and therefore was not going to be able to demonstrate the world that he had left it.
Fortune reacts by alerting Rudy he has zero ability and shouldn’t even be playing the match. He then delivers the wonderful line, “In this life, you do not have to prove nothin’ to nobody but yourself.”
I’ve published four books and close to a hundred short stories, and I see the achievements of the others and wonder if I’m going to develop into a “real writer.” I envy the money other authors make, the acclaim that they get, and the attention from our peers. I envy the rate at which they publish, the ads they run, along with the podcast interviews they do.
In such moments, I find myself at Rudy’s shoes, feeling as I need to quit because the recognition I desire feels unattainable.
It’s in those moments once I want Fortune’s estimate the most. I want to be reminded I do not do this to the compliments of the crowd. The crowd is unpredictable and their attention is fleeting. Pursuing it’s like chasing a snowflake. Even when we catch it disappears as fast as it came.
We can not work hoping for confirmation from the crowd. We will need to do our job and do it well, knowing the only person we will need to prove anything to is ourselves.
Do you really want to get him? You see what I am saying. What are you really willing to do? And then, what are you really willing to do?
–Jim Malone at The Untouchables
In the movie The Untouchables, Jim Malone (Sean Connery) is a streetwise beat cop at Chicago. He’s approached by Treasury Officer Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner) and asked to combine Ness’s staff that’s going to search the notorious gangster Al Capone. Malone pulls Ness to a church where they could talk softly.
Sitting in the pews, ” Malone asks Ness this iconic question: “What are you really willing to do” When Ness reacts, “Everything inside the legislation,” Malone slips right back, “And then what are you really willing to do?”
While we aren’t searching down mob managers, we shouldn’t kid ourselves about the problem of the task ahead of us. Creating art that’s noticed and makes a durable effect is hard. Few succeed. Even fewer are remembered.
It demands hard work and sacrifice. There will be late nights and early mornings nobody will applaud you. There will be stories and pages and personalities you pour yourself into that nobody will love. And should you triumph and someone reads your belongings, there’ll be criticism and rejection.
This is no simple task ahead of us.
We will need to remind ourselves of the so that if things get hard, we aren’t surprised. With every barrier we face, we need to maintain Malone’s voice at the back of the brain.
We want the old, grizzled voice of knowledge challenging us refusing to let us be innocent. We want the queries, “What are you really willing to do? And then what are you really willing to do?” Routinely place to us that we do not overlook that, although the road is not difficult, the journey is worth the sacrifice.
You think we want one more? You think we want. Alright, we’ll get one more.
–Danny Ocean at Ocean’s Eleven
In the movie Ocean’s Eleven, following building ten members of the group, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) are sitting at a pub watching TV. As a boxing game plays on the display in front of these, Danny asks Rusty, “You think we want yet another?” I love this quote because it reminds me having the proper team around us is essential to our success.
It’s tempting to consider writing as a lone thing you and your computer keyboard alone in an empty area. That picture could not be further from the reality.
While writing does demand a good deal of isolated work, it can not be done without a group of people around us. Nobody makes art independently. We want other writers to bounce ideas off of and provide us honest opinions. We need team members to operate together as we try together to get our job noticed.
Just this week, I listened to a internet class introduced by Joe Bunting and Ruthanne Reid. Three years before, I met them once I combined the Becoming Writer community. The effect they have had on my job by inviting me, giving me comments, and teaching me exactly what it means to be a writer is priceless. I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without them.
I am glad when I started this mad journey, I’d Danny Ocean at the back part of my mind asking, “Do you think we want yet another?” The answer is yes.
The good news is, if you do not have a set of authors you’re working together, it is possible to find them right here by combining the Becoming Writer team.
Being a writer is a peculiar trip. We will need to keep ourselves grounded with items which inspire us.
I’ve shared with you four of my inspirational quotations for authors. Nowadays you talk about a couple of yours with all the rest of us from the comments. Give us the quote and tell us exactly what about it compels you.
What inspirational quotations do you lean on to keep you based as a writer? Let’s all know in the comments.
These days, we’re going to compose with quote #2 in your mind: you don’t have anything to prove to anybody but yourself. Free compose for fifteen minutes. Don’t judge yourself edit as you move. Just get the words onto the page.
When you’re done, talk about your writing into the comments beneath. Make sure you leave comments for your fellow authors, too!
The article 4 Inspirational Quotes for Writers appeared on The Compose Exercise.