“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?
The world would split open.”
– Muriel Rukeyser


What follows is a growing list of inspirational quotes about writing, with a particular focus on women journaling. Many of the quotes apply to any writing from the heart.

from The Right to Write by Julia Cameron, “Why Should We Write?”

“We should write because humans are spiritual beings and writing is a powerful form of prayer and meditation, connecting us both to our thoughts and to a higher and deeper level of inner guidance. … We should write because writing brings clarity and passion to the act of living. Writing is sensual, experiential and grounding. We should write because writing is good for the soul.”

The next four passages are from A VOICE OF HER OWN, Women and the Journal Writing Journey, Marlene Schiwy:

“Journal writing is the most egalitarian of writing modes. What counts is not who the writer is or what she has achieved, but rather the degree of truthfulness, candor, and perceptiveness she has brought to her writing…”

“Keeping a journal does not simply mean recording the external facts of your life from one day to the next. I’m talking about something that goes much deeper than that. Journal writing is a process of vital reflection that plunges you below the surface of your life to its psychic roots. When you are writing at that deeper level, your life itself changes.”

“The writing that we do in our journals is a more direct and immediate kind of self-expression than other kinds of writing. It isn’t affected by thoughts of the projected audience. It isn’t necessarily linear or logical, or even grammatically correct. It’s more likely to be spontaneous, unpredictable, playful, experimental, even outrageous…. In the diary we try things on for size. We write our emotions large. We take risks we wouldn’t take anywhere else.”

“Who writes journals? Women who lived deeply and reflectively, who regard lives as modern mythic quests and spiritual journeys, women who want to find their own voices and write their own lives.”

“If we had to say what writing is, we would have to define it essentially as an act of courage.”
-Cynthia Ozick

One issue people describe in journaling is writing about the same old, same old. Going around in circles. It’s good to remember that we are spiraling not circling. The following is from Marlene Schiwy, A VOICE OF HER OWN:

“Like the journey of our lives the journal writing journey is not linear, but twists and turns and loops around to old, familiar ground, with many detours along the way. At times we feel that we are in all-too-familiar territory, that our old habits assert themselves with boring repetitiveness. Then, suddenly we glimpse, just beyond the next corner, a breathtaking vista that we’ve never seen before. At once the excitement of the journey is fresh and new again. We are onto another turn of the spiral.”

Regarding sparks for your journal writing, Anäis Nin, the renowned diarist, writes:

“Put yourself in the present. This is my principle when I wrote the diary – to write the things I felt most strongly about that day. Start there and that starts the whole unraveling, because that has roots in the past and it has branches into the future… I chose the event of the day that I felt most strongly about, the most vivid one, the warmest one, the nearest one, the strongest one.”

“I have everything I need. A square of sky, a piece of stone, a page, a pen, and memory raining down on me in sleeves.
-Harriet Doerr


“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, which is translated through you into action, and because there is only one you in all time, this expression is unique.”
-Martha Graham

From Doubt to Freedom


30 Writing Sparks


The Tremble of Love

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