Our deepest fear is neither the madness nor the monster

A friend was noting having become discouraged with writing. All I can say is that “our deepest fear is neither the madness nor the monster.” Perhaps you already know what I am referring to, yet either way I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes on writing.

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” -E. L. Doctorow

“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those, who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in a human condition” -Graham Greene

But it’s the following quote that I always think of. Yet it is one of those quotes which upon the reading of it doesn’t seem to pack quite the punch my memory had attributed to it. Have you every developed that kind of acute fondness which one cherishes upon recollection of an old wise friend. Still, it’s a good quote. It’s just that my history with it packs some extra energy than it might for you.

“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.” -Winston Churchill

Verily, my memory had attributed far bigger teeth to either the quote or the monster with which it is bound. For any of you who have embarked upon an endeavor of writing, I commend you; surely “embark” is an apt epithet, for such a journey–such an adventure–is an irreversible departure from the realm of the sane.

In the immortal words of Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson

Whether you are writing blog posts, poems, short stories, novella, non-fiction, courseware, scripts, novels, or an epic series of novels, I wish you well on your journey.

What are some of your favorite writing/author quotes?

About Brad Werner

Technical Evangelist
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2 Responses to Our deepest fear is neither the madness nor the monster

  1. I apologise in advance for it’s simplicity but, “If you wrote something for which someone sent you a check, if you cashed the check and it didn’t bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented,” from ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King.


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