Motivating Quotes for Every NaNoWriMo Crisis Moment

It’s time for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)! If you’re like me, you’ve been living in denial—convinced that November is still weeks away, then you saw the date this morning and immediately added vodka to your coffee. From not having the time to lacking the creativity, there are lots of hurdles to jump with NaNo. Don’t let your fears win! Keep these quotes handy throughout the month to stay motivated. Happy writing, friends!

Getting Started


“People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it.” – Harlan Ellison

“Beginning a novel is always hard. It feels like going nowhere. I always have to write at least 100 pages that go into the trashcan before it finally begins to work. It’s discouraging, but necessary to write those pages. I try to consider them pages -100 to zero of the novel.” -Barbara Kingsolver

“Only a person with a Best Seller mind can write Best Sellers.” – Aldous Huxley

“Learn to write by doing it. Read widely and wisely. Increase your word power. Find your own individual voice through practicing constantly. Go through the world with your eyes and ears open and learn to express that experience in words.” -P.D. James

Meeting Daily Goals


“It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer. Those who do not remain amateurs.” -Gerald Brenan

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” -Napoleon Hill

“Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.” -John Dewey

Writer’s Block (or as I rather say – brain constipation)


“If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.” – Hilary Mantel

“What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’” — Maya Angelou

“Writer’s block is my unconscious mind telling me that something I’ve just written is either unbelievable or unimportant to me, and I solve it by going back and reinventing some part of what I’ve already written so that when I write it again, it is believable and interesting to me.” – Orson Scott Card

Finding the Time


“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

Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have “essential” and “long overdue” meetings on those days.” – J.K. Rowling

“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”  – Agatha Christie

What gems did I miss? Share them with me in the comments or on Twitter!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. I am saving this and coming back to it. I love these quotes. I’ll use them during my NaNo slumps.


    1. kpkelly says:

      Happy that you like the quotes. Best of luck in your writing adventures!


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