Post a quote to define your writing mindset

Toss out some line that inspires or sums up your creative process in writing your games (or anything else you may write).

One that has been running through my mind of late: “Creation is an act of sheer will.”

Of course, that always leads to “Next time it’ll be flawless.” Which is substantially less inspiring given the circumstances. But hey, maybe next time it will!

What words keep you from packing it in?


“If I dont make this, there is a good chance no one will”. I also often find myself thinking “My creation is the one thing that is truly mine, and nobody can take that away, I owe it to myself to continue making it better”.


“Someone needs to write this, if only so I can talk to people about it.” It might be shallow, but I write mainly so that I can discuss my daydreams with other people in a coherent way.


“I want to write my story so anyone know what is always filling my mind”


What I want it to be:

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”

– Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

What it actually is:


Ah, you guys are making me look bad, coming up with your own quotes while I was just cribbing from a movie that is old enough to drink.

In that vein, I would say that in a recent discussion with my old artist friend, he said that he was intent on defeating the ghost of mediocrity. That is what drives me now, though my menacing specter is not necessarily just mediocrity but also my own lack of drive. I am 33, and I have been trying off and on to write creatively for half my life. A short story here, a failed start to a novel there. I never completed anything of real substance or length, because like I said in another thread, ideas are easy. Execution is hard. But when I found this place, I knew this was my chance to do it right for once. I may place in this contest. More likely I will not. But I will finish this thing and have it ready despite having less than eight months to do so from when I started, because I know I can if I really try. The Google Doc for Nuclear Powered Toaster is called Total Commitment. And those two words are what keep me going when the myriad choices bog me down or I feel too brainburnt to write another ten words, much less 1,000. Total Commitment…and some proper ghostbusting on that pesky spirit of mediocrity, that voice that says “You can’t, so why bother?”


My writing mindset? :thinking: Probably “You can do anything, baby” When my girlfriend tells me that I really feel like I can, it’s such a strange feeling having someone that truly believes in me and supports me…too bad she also distracts me more than anything else too and therefore I still don’t get much accomplished…ah well, at least I’m happy :grin:


T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets:


…Trying to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholy new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate,
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate - but there is no competition -
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.

I’ve got great days when writing is fun and exciting and I walk down the street listening to characters argue in my head (and, I’m sure, make weird faces!). But that excitement never lasts long enough to finish anything. Writing for the long haul, for more than just my own entertainment, has to be a war, a ‘raid on the inarticulate.’ I’ve got to struggle through the mud, get up again when I slip, and not worry about saying what’s been said already. I can’t think of other writers as competition. The authors I admire are my allies, and we are fighting to communicate, to inspire, to enliven the world, together. The important thing is to try, and see where my stories take me, find what I’m meant to write. It’s maybe a sort of pessimistic quote, but I love it even when I’m discouraged.


“Never hurry, never rest.” (Goethe)


I find these extremely relatable at all times of the writing process:

“Don’t loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don’t get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it.” -Jack London

"Describing your action too precisely can be as condescending as describing your characters’ emotions. Far better to give your readers some hints and then allow them to fill in the blanks for themselves. " -Renni Browne

“Put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.” -Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette


Mine was quoted at me on the XoR thread a few years ago…


“Why do I do this to myself? Now I have to dig my way out of this damned mess. Again.”

More apt for coding, but it relates directly to my writing process as well. It’s chaos that eventually somehow always ends up as order and I never know how that happened after the fact.


“Lesbian sex. Lesbian sex everywhere.” - Ylva K. Ulrich


“If only I was a good writer… This is so, so bad” is usually my most common thought, usually followed by “Why the heck do I got into this?”


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‘Astonishing farrago of balderdash’ (Which describes me spot-on as well)

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“Writing is so easy.”

This is a recent motto/mantra/affirmation I’ve adopted, and it has helped me squeeze more words out than any amount of caffeine. It turns out we really can convince (or trick) ourselves, for better or worse, and it sounds sappy but all it takes is belief.

I highly recommend The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy.


“Eh, why not?”

Meaning that i just think up a random idea and instead of wondering if i should include it, i just think “eh, why not?” Which is actually what i want to name my game if i ever finish writing it.


“What are you doing?” “Writing.” “How so?” “Have too little time to find some quality reading.”


“Never give up, never surrender.” :wink:


Mine’s technically a musical quote (of course), but I think it applies to writing as well.

“A violinist should always be happy when he is playing. If he is playing well, he should be happy that he is playing well. If he is not playing well, he should be happy because it will soon be over.”
—Jascha Heifetz