9 Proverbs to Keep Writers Positive

When I was teaching high school, I learned one of my most important life lessons.  No matter what dilemma I was facing in my personal life—my kids misbehaving, odd car engine noises, or too little time for myself—when I got to school and walked into the classroom the students deserved my best.  I called it Mrs. Cougler’s travelling road show. At the door I chucked my foul mood and pasted on a smile.  Funny thing was, in no time the smile was real and I was my happy self again because you get back what you give out.

This is a lesson I’ve had to remember with my writing both for myself and for my blog readers.  Nobody wants to read a rant.  No one likes a whiner and no one, I mean, no one will read whining prose.  Oh, everyone has down days, but the secret is learning to move past the rejections, the paragraph that just won’t come, or the less-than-flattering comment about writing you’ve sacrificed you own blood to perfect.

Have you ever noticed how many proverbs are centered around being positive?  Here is a chart of proverbs and what they mean to writers.

 Proverb  Writing Application
Fake it till you make it. Put on the face of an author and you will be much more likely to become one.  Blog, practice, join groups, associate with other writers.
A rolling stone gathers no moss. If you keep working at your craft, you’ll strip away the unwanted verbiage and move ever forward in your writing journey.
Put on a happy face. Focus on the positive things about your writing while you correct what needs work.  And smile, knowing you’re moving ever closer to your goal.
All good things come to those who wait. Be patient while you are working at your craft.  You will be published if you keep pushing forward.
All the world loves a lover. Yes, people like happy characters, but don’t forget that the flawed ones add interest and act as foils for the heroes and heroines.
Count your blessings. When you feel down, actively list the good things that have accrued along your writing journey.  Try listing your own special skills.  I keep a file of wonderful things people have said about me over the years.  Good to read when you’re down.
Every cloud has a silver lining. Even when you get a terrible critique, take comfort that you have someone who’ll tell you the truth.  This helps you to move forward.
Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone. Focus on the first part of this as the second is just too negative!  People need happiness almost as much as fresh air.  Find where you can get yours and where you can spread some around to others.  The rewards are huge.
Little strokes fell great oaks. I love this one.  That three pages you write every day becomes a rough draft in about three or four months.  Take heart.

What do you do to keep yourself positive and professional?  Do you have a horror story about a time when someone wasn’t?  Consider leaving a comment in the space below.  And have a great day.  You certainly deserve it, as my sister would say.


13 thoughts on “9 Proverbs to Keep Writers Positive

  1. Oh come now, every now and then a rant is a fun thing to read. Ok, maybe not all rants… 😉

    I like to write a rant but I like it to make a valid point, be funny, and try to steer away from name calling. I guess, maybe now that I look at it, it might not be a rant.

    I love the last line; little strokes fell great oaks. I am finding more and more that this is my mantra. A little step at a time, but make that step count.

    Again, Elaine, you give us words to live by.


    • I like that last one, too. It gives power and hope to us all. Thanks for your rants, Dale. You’re usually right on the money and ranting on a blog is probably good for your heart; a healthy thing to do, even.


  2. I agree with Dale! I enjoy reading a good rant every-now-and-then…as long as it’s written well…which I have no doubt about since you’d be writing it!

    Encouraging and remindful post…loved it! 🙂


    • Only in the car, Sharon, but I did get my half hour walk in at the indoor track and the sun streamed in the windows. Loved it. And loved your post today about past lives. Fascinating. Everyone should read it.


  3. Hey, Elaine!

    Fake it till you make it strikes a chord with me. I always tell “aspiring” writers two things:

    1. Call yourself a writer, introduce yourself as a writer.

    2. Get rid of that bloody ‘aspiring’ tag. Aspiring is bull ca-ca. Forget published. Forget paid. If you are writing, you are a writer. Period.

    Hmm. Paid. Do people actually get paid for this?


    • I see ads from time to time about getting paid for writing but I suspect the writing is not something I’d be happy doing. And you are right about aspiring. We are all aspiring to be the best we can be. In the meantime, we are writing. Thanks, Sherry!


  4. I read a great rant last week and it got a lot of discussion going around it as it made a good point. But for the most part, yes, we want to read good writing and good writing usually comes when the writer is in a good spot. I am quite sure someone will disagree with me. Stephen King, maybe? But everybody’s “good spot” is in a different place.

    I’m not sure about the faking part. I think we just keep working at our craft and learning all we can and eventually we do make it — however “make it” works in each writer’s life.

    And yes, people do actually get paid for this. Keep at it Sherry!


  5. Good point about everybody’s good spot. Does that mean some people’s good spot is ranting? Interesting. As for faking it, to me that just means walking the walk and talking the talk so that you become immersed in the belief that you are a writer. In talking to many beginning writers, so often I hear how hard it is to put yourself out there and feel like a writer. And I can relate to that.
    Thanks, Habisha, for visiting again.


    • Elaine, it could be that some people’s good spot is ranting. They find something that pushes them and let fly. It can be really good writing and a very valid point.

      It is hard to put yourself out there as a writer. It’s hard to SAY you’re a writer. Even though I’ve been doing it for over 25 years, I tend to be quiet about my job because people go, “what have you published?”

      A writer is a writer if they write. So Write. That’s my rant for the day. I think we all have something we are passionate about and that may come across as a rant, but it’s just the passionate, artistic soul.

      Thanks for being here and letting us rant…!


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