“In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth,” says Patti Smith. She also advises us to realise that difficulty and even suffering are part of the package when you’re a creative person.

When you’re starting out, or soaring with creativity,  this obviously isn’t what you want to hear. But when things get tough, or you’ve been working for years with little to show for it, it helps to know others are in the same position. That it’s part of the life you’ve chosen. Part of your calling.

What adds to the difficulty is that we now have to be social media experts, web designers, networkers, and our own PR agents. Of course this means the opportunities seem to be more in our own hands than ever before.

But it mustn’t take us away from the work itself. That must stay primary.

To keep your focussed on your work, here are few writing quotes I liked this week….

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. – Elmore Leonard

I myself find that I trust my own writing most, and others seem to trust it most, too, when I sound most like a person from Indianapolis, which is what I am.Kurt Vonnegut

It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style. — P.D. James

I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts. All right, one of them does, but we do not like her very much. – Anne Lamott

I write because it comes out — and then to get paid for it afterwards? I told somebody, at some time, that writing is like going to bed with a beautiful woman and afterwards she gets up, goes to her purse and gives me a handful of money. I’ll take it. –  Charles Bukowski

Be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work. – Flaubert