Quotes for a Brave New Year

My quote posts usually focus on one quote, and dig into what makes it special. But it’s January, and I thought we might need a little extra motivation. So here’s a collection of author quotes to help you through the year ahead. 

Image of a light box illuminating the phrase 'You got this'.
Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

There are a number of problems that authors frequently struggle with. Procrastination, perfectionism, dwelling on things we could have done better, self-doubt, decision fatigue. And my personal favourite, imposter syndrome.

These are not specifically author issues. Anyone can find themselves wrestling with these problems, and more like them. So here’s some helpful advice from brilliant authors, for anyone who needs it.


This is a common issue, particularly for authors. We want to write but we’re scared of rejection and failure. So we find other things to do instead, to create a delay. 

Procrastinating doesn’t usually change the outcome, it just wastes time. In the words of Paulo Coelho:

“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do all the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.”


Perfectionism is the enemy of completion. Many an author will change one word, change it again, then change it back to the original option. Getting the words right is important. But first we have to get the words written! And at some point, we have to actually release the book. As Margaret Atwood said:

“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.”

That really would be something to regret.

Dwelling on things we could have done better

We learn and grow throughout our lives. What we did years ago is unlikely to be as good as the work we are producing now. This is good news. We have great things to look forward to. C. S. Lewis put it like this:

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”


The best cure for self-doubt is courage. You might not be good enough. Then again, you might. You won’t know until you try. Because as Anais Nin once told us:

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

Decision fatigue

Yes, if we choose the wrong route, it could go badly. But we’re not always stuck with our original choices. Sometimes a decision an author makes doesn’t work well. That’s OK. They can change their mind and rewrite it. And learn so much in the process.

Making mistakes in a creative endeavour is not life-threatening. Sometimes you’ve just got to jump in. Here’s some advice from Neil Gaiman:

“Make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before.”

Imposter syndrome

This creeps up on authors from all sides. Many of us are inspired to write by more successful authors. Then once we have a book ready to launch, we compare ourselves to those authors. And find it hard to believe we can ever be that good.

There are people on social media who doubt we are ‘real authors’. They need to see a degree in creative writing, and a contract with a traditional publishing house, before they will read anything we’ve written. 

Then there are all the people we personally know, who won’t buy our books until a million other people have bought them first. It’s easy to see why imposter syndrome is a problem for authors. Yet we write a way out of it, time and again. 

If we look at characters who overcome imposter syndrome, it’s usually what’s at stake that helps them break through. What’s at stake for you, if you don’t do the thing you most want to do?

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said:

“Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen.”

Are you ready to make things happen?

Enjoyed this post?

You might also like: Start Where You Are.

Why not check out my travel mystery series on Amazon. Or follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads or Bookbub.


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