How to Keep the Inner Flame Burning: 7 Tips from Outstanding Writers

By Scott Ragin

Posted 8 years agoGROWTH

Motivation. It’s what we are constantly looking for, but always lack. Do you want to go through life boldly, or do you want to be useless for the rest of your days? We all know the answer to that. We choose to be brave, bold, and fabulous!

“Bran thought about it. ‘Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?’

‘That’s the only time a man can be brave,’ his father told him.”

That quote from George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones makes you realize: everyone is afraid. Instead of approaching insecurity as a weakness, a brave person perceives them as opportunities. An opportunity to show courage! That’s a fresh perspective that motivates us to carry on.

Speaking of writers, did you know that all of them have had their beliefs and rituals that led them through life? They found the strength to carry on, and they shared their experiences with the readers, whether it was by living the way they lived or directly through their books.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a passionate reader or you upgrade your knowledge of literature by watching movies; you gotta agree that we have a lot to learn from a writer’s passion and determination. That’s where the idea for this article came from: seeking inspiration in the lessons outstanding authors taught us.

A Lesson on Faults and Failures

“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a world.” – Margaret Atwood

Atwood had writing in mind when she said this, but we can translate her approach on perfectionism to our everyday living. People have faults and failures. We cannot be perfect. It’s normal to be unsatisfied with an accomplishment, but keep this in mind: when you know you’ve done your best, it’s time to bring the process to an end.

It doesn’t matter what personal or professional project you’re working on. You should always do your best, but you can’t expect perfection. Perfection does not exist. There is only progress, which you’ll achieve through goals and accomplishments. 

A Lesson on Romance

“Hearts can break. Yes, hearts can break. Sometimes I think it would be better if we died when they did, but we don’t.” – Stephen King

It hurts when you read this quote. It reminds you of the suffering you’ve been through, solely because of love. In its essence, love is simple. Through its purity and simplicity, it can cut us deeper than a sword.

Stephen King is the hero in the writing world, but even heroes get hurt. He came down to an important realization: life goes on. You find the strength to pick up the pieces, you learn from the experience, and you carry on.

Have you heard about Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery? There is incredible symbolism behind it: you don’t disguise the things that get broken. You recognize their history in the repair process, and they get more beautiful than they ever were. Life is all about experience, and broken hearts are part of it. Feelings make us beautiful.

A Lesson on Latent Potentials

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

That’s a powerful quote, isn’t it? Mark Twain was one of the most gifted individuals of his time. Throughout his life, he was a typesetter, newspaper article writer, riverboat pilot, and a miner before he finally found his calling: he was always supposed to be a writer.

You can never know where the future will take you. There’s one thing you can assume, though: a challenging future is always better than the safe choice. If you don’t take any actions that lead you to personal and professional progress, you’ll regret your passivity sooner or later. One day, you’ll wake up wondering: What have I done in my life? Did I give people something to respect me for? Did I make this world a better place in any way?

You better start taking the actions that will lead you to satisfactory answers to those questions. We all have latent potentials, but we have to get into some adventures in order to discover them. What’s life without adventure?

A Lesson on Fear

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” – Jim Morrison

I know what you’re thinking: was Morrison a writer? Well, he was one of the brightest poets of the modern era, and he had a great thing to say about fear. So yes, he deserves a spot in this article.

Back to fear: it has a purpose in our life. When you conquer it, you feel the kind of liberation that cannot be compared to any other experience. That’s what Jim Morrison was talking about: liberation from fire. Freedom can be scary. When you’re afraid of something, you like staying in your safe zone, and you avoid situation that face you with that fear.

If you’re wondering how to keep your inner flame burning, this is one of the most important steps you need to undertake: face your fears. Then, face them again. The more you confront a fear, the weaker it gets. The stronger you become.

A Lesson on Loneliness

“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

Oops… that was harsh! But, eye-opening as well. You probably knew that most writers were introverts. This profession requires long hours in solitude. For most of them, though, solitude was not a problem. When a writer is left alone with their thoughts, it’s the most blissful torture in the world, no matter how crazy that seems.

Don’t be afraid of loneliness. It’s an opportunity to learn something new, discover new talents, and put some order in your thoughts and feelings.

A Lesson on Education

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain, the master of wit

What’s life more than a lesson on learning? You discover something new every single day. The question is: are you aware of the knowledge that surrounds you, or have you allowed the schooling system to put you in the box?

Mark Twain teaches us an important lesson: education is not limited to school. School is important, but it only sets the beginning points. From then on, you’re responsible for your own education. Make it count!

A Lesson on Hope

“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

Life has a way of putting you down to earth. When you expect good things to happen, you might be faced with a harsh reality: your expectations don’t always come to life. Does that mean you should quit on hoping? Absolutely not!

Tolkien related hope with something very, very important: the good. Don’t lose the faith that there is good in this world, and good things can happen. Good things will happen. You just need to stay strong, and you need to try to be the good in someone else’s life.

Hopefully, the 7 lessons above gave you a new perspective on life. When you think about it, it seems like writers have all the answers. We just need to form the questions that bother us, and start working towards their solution. We need to keep the inner flame burning.   

About the author Scott Ragin

Scott Ragin is a passionate writer who draws the inspiration from something that really means the most to him: his readers. He loves guiding other people through their writing practice and shares his ideas as a blogger. Scott is a writing expert at Aussiewriter writing service. Feel free to contact him at Facebook.

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