You Know Enough

May Sarton Quote

If ever you doubt your capacity for great story ideas, may you find comfort in the words of novelist, poet and memoirist May Sarton:

“Anyone who is going to be a writer knows enough at 15 to write several novels.”

— May Sarton

When you find yourself struggling to find inspiration, look no further than the millions of moments that have made up your life. With all of the conversations, daydreams and thoughts we have… with all of people, settings and obstacles we encounter… it doesn’t take long to amass enough knowledge, experience and visual memories to fill the pages of a book. 

Each of our lives is rich with novel material; it simply takes a writer’s unique perspective, attention to detail and explorative nature to glean from everyday relationships and interactions the stories that bring us all together. Keeping a journal can help you keep track of potential novel ideas. Get in the practice of carrying a notepad with you and jotting down interesting phrases or conversations you overhear, writing physical descriptions of new places and faces, etc.

Rest assured that the everyday moments you’ve lived through so far are unique and interesting enough to spark great scenes, descriptions and characters; and be excited for all the novel ideas that have yet to come into your life.

What do you find to be the most generative source of story ideas? 

There’s much to be said about the craft of writing. That’s why each week on the Abbott Press blog, we’ll take a look at what some of our favorite authors and thinkers have to say about this challenging, fulfilling and sometimes mystifying art. We hope these discussions will help you to further refine your own ideas about writing and to achieve new insights into your own creative process. Browse Weekly Writing Quotes