“A word after a word after a word is power.”

Margaret Atwood’s words will silence your inner critic and inspire you to write.

Blocks! Mixed set by A. Drauglis (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Canadian author Margaret Atwood, whose rรฉsumรฉ boasts 14 novels, 17 volumes of poetry, and eight volumes of short fiction, knows a thing or two about being productive as a writer.

Silencing “monkey mind” — the defeatist voice in your head that screams, “I’ll never get it!” ร  la muppet composer “Don Music” — is a critical part of being productive.

Margaret Atwood by Oksana Zhelisko

Margaret Atwood by Oksana Zhelisko

For me, the following two Atwood quotes disabuse me of pretense around my writing and inspire me to keep building, word by word.

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

A word after a word after a word is power.

Reading these quotes, I feel empowered. As though, if I just keep working, I will (eventually) reach my goal.

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  1. She is so right. I do a lot of writing on my own blog and it’s been gearing me up, getting me ready to tackle the big writing project, a novel that I am so emotionally connected to and invested in, that I spent much of last summer outlining and brainstorming. It’s ready to be written down, it’s been ready for a while, actually. But procrastination is a deadly enemy. So is fear.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Since I built my blog 15 months ago, I like writing more and more.

    With a full time job, I usually write whenever I get a few minutes, sometimes just write a few words each time. So I have been experiencing the power of “A word after a word”.

    My latest writing was done yesterday while I was waiting for my 10 – year old daughter getting her hair cut:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was privileged to hear Margaret Atwood speak at my University of Minnesota creative writing class, almost 10 years ago. Incredible Lady!

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      1. She read from some of her poems- and her book ‘Negotiating with the Dead’. She was funny and gracious when answering questions. She had presence. To me, her message was about perseverance. If you want to write, you must just do it. It stood out that she never felt she needed to choose to be an essayist, fiction writer or poet. She did them all, because they all called to her.

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    1. I won’t argue against doing, but writing is like talking to people: If you talk about real things, and about how to get things done, you change a tiny part of the world. It does make a difference.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I like your ‘get it done’ style! If only we could have the best of both worlds, where people got things done and then wrote about it, so that we can all learn from their experience.


  4. Hi, i have a question and i don’t know who or where to direct it. I think my website has been hacked an di don’t know what to do. I am unable to log in with my username and password (which i used to log in all the time). When i try to log in, i get this message “Linux+cfcd208495d565ef66e7dff9f98764da+01+[[]]” I am wondering if anyone here can help me or direct me to a site with information to help me get my site back up.


  5. Although I’ve written professionally during my thirty year career (political analysis, research findings, etc. I find writing a blog considerably more difficult. I’ve been working on my first piece for two weeks – rethinking, refining. This piece inspired me to keep working at it – word by word

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  6. “If I waited for perfection I would never write a word”, I like that. Being disappointed for failing to reach perfection is a pretty good way to be miserable. Nothing wrong with aiming to get as close as possible though.


  7. I love these little tidbits of inspiration. I have words in me, but I feel it is fear that keeps them locked away more than anything else, and these words of inspiration are slowly prying them into the public domain.
    Here are a few other handy inspirational tips if anyone is interested, from a very different type of writer.


  8. Really good quotes and I am completely related to them. For a long time a was afraid of puttting my writing out there, because it didn’t feel perfect or powerful. Now I know that perfection isn’t always what it seems and that the power of my voice and my words are connected with my confidence to put them out there.
    Great blogging everybody ๐Ÿ™‚

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