Inspiration Masterpost: Stuff to Read and Watch When You’re Feeling Low

We all have our favorite things we turn to when we’re feeling low. Maybe you scoop up a big bowl of ice cream or settle in with your favorite movie.

Consider this post a giant helping of ice cream—meant to comfort, encourage, and inspire you when you feel like giving up on your writing. These videos, quotes, and images have helped me along and I hope they’ll help you too.

Writing is often a thankless task. We pour so much of ourselves into our work, but we’re never able to live up to the ideal, the perfection that lives in our minds. And even when we’re not doubting ourselves, there’s the staggering fact that it’s dastardly difficult to make a living as a writer. At the worst of times, we face pressure from both inside and out.

I hope this post can alleviate some of those fears and doubts, and remind you that writing is only ever for yourself. You write to keep living—so keep writing.

Videos

Sam’s speech in The Two Towers

One of my favorite quotes from a book. This scene always dregs up deep emotion for me, and I hope it inspires you to keep going when you feel like you can’t.

J.K. Rowling’s Harvard commencement address

Brilliant insights from a brilliant woman. “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

Thumbs up for rock and roll

A small child learns how to ride a bike for the first time and wants everyone to believe in themselves.

Images

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Gifs

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Quotes

“I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares.”

– Saul Bass

“If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.”

– Somerset Maugham

“Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.”

– Ray Bradbury

“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

“Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.”

– Barbara Kingsolver

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”

– William Faulkner

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”

– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“I always marvel at the humans’ ability to keep going. They always manage to stagger on even with tears streaming down their faces.”

– Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.”

– Roald Dahl

“I long so much to make beautiful things. But beautiful things require effort and disappointment and perseverance.”

–  Vincent van Gogh

“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”

–  Ray Bradbury

Keep fighting the good fight. And if you have any favorite videos, quotes, or gifs, I’d love to see them! Share them in the comments below.

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