What’s on Your Sticky Note?

We all have our daily challenges, and I think most of us have certain things we struggle with over and over. My biggest day-to-day difficulty is the sheer number of things that need to get done. Sometimes the to-do list is so long, I get paralyzed. So I have a sticky note right by my computer. It says:

One thing at at time.
First things first.
Start now.

Over the years, I’ve had various sayings that have motivated me or helped me stay on task, but this is the one that works right now.

So what’s on your sticky note? What’s the one saying that helps you get through your days?

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. EthelOwens on November 26, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    I opine that to receive the personal loans from banks you ought to have a good motivation. But, once I’ve got a financial loan, because I was willing to buy a car.

  2. Anne Lang Bundy on September 19, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    The twin sticky notes I’ve had for quite some times are these:


    “I want to read a novel that changes me.”
    ~ Chip MacGregor

    I just added a third:
    balance = strength + focus

  3. Melissa Crandall on September 11, 2011 at 8:09 AM

    “A rejection is only one person’s opinion of one piece of writing.”

  4. Tina Hoggatt on September 7, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Rachelle, this has proved extremely useful. When your post came into my mailbox I was overwhelmed with commitments. This little post it on my computer at work has truly helped. Thanks!

  5. Sra on September 2, 2011 at 5:29 AM

    So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.
    -Lord of the Rings (Gandalf)

  6. bobbie on August 31, 2011 at 5:10 PM


  7. Aimen on August 31, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    Slow down and write.
    I have it plastered all over my notebook and would have it on a huge poster next to the computer if I didn’t live in the same house as six other people where nothing survives unless it is absolutely necessary. xD

  8. Laura Matson Hahn on August 30, 2011 at 12:39 PM



    “Oh earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you.
    Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?
    Every, every minute?”

    Thornton Wilder OUR TOWN

  9. marion on August 30, 2011 at 7:09 AM

    “To fly, we have to have resistance.” Maya Lin.
    What the STRUGGLING writer/reviser needs to hear!

    The Bible verse that keeps coming back to me is: “My times are in Your hands.” It’s in one of the Psalms. Good when you’re feeling frustrated & stuck.

    I like the Dr. Luke quote. Reminds me of Humpty Dumpty (I think that’s who it was): “Begin at the beginning and keep going until you get to the end and then stop.” (Something like that, anyway.)

    LOL about the coffee stain.

  10. K.C.Bishop on August 29, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made like bread, remade all the time, made new.” – Ursala K. LeGuin

    “Find the good and praise it.” – Alex Haley

    From Romans 5:3 “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

  11. Shilpa on August 29, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me” – Ayn Rand.

    Its very motivating to me.

  12. Natalie Sharpston on August 29, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    “You can only do what you can do.”

  13. Patricia A. Timms on August 29, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    My sticky note says, Keep going, no use in stopping now.

    The saying I’ve carried with me from high school through college and now as a writer is:

    –Excuses are the tools with which persons with no purpose in view build for themselves great moments of nothing.

    Written by Canadian actor Steven Grayhm

  14. Kate on August 29, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    “Baby steps.”

    I have a habit of seeing things in lists. Lists are great for organization, but AWFUL for getting overwhelmed. So I have to remind myself to stop seeing all the steps at once, and just focus on each baby step. Otherwise, I panic.

  15. Andrea Nell on August 29, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    I know not what tomorrow hold, but I know who holds tomorrow.

  16. Stephanie Reed on August 29, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    “Take up your cross; let not its weight/Pervade your soul with vain alarm/His strength shall bear your spirit up/Sustain your heart, and nerve your arm. ” Hymn by Charles W. Everest

  17. Lori VanGilder on August 29, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    In quietness and confidence (trust) is your strength… I 30:15

    This verse has helped me to hush when I have needed to and it has given me strength when I have needed it.

  18. Michelle DeRusha on August 29, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    My most recent sticky note saying is, “Do the next right thing,” from a blog post I read at Michael Hyatt’s site last week. It helps with the paralysis!

  19. Addy Rae on August 29, 2011 at 7:11 AM

    ‘If I tell you writing is important and I don’t treat it as such, I’m either lying to you or lying to me.’

    Basic setup is from my Grandmother, just insert ‘writing’ for my version. 🙂

  20. Emily on August 29, 2011 at 5:24 AM

    I just took mine down (I’m moving tomorrow). They read:

    Tell no backstory before it’s time.

    Computers are like Old Testament Gods: Lots of Rules and No Mercy ~Joseph Campbell

    It is a rare mind that can render the hithero non-existent blindingly obvious. The cry ‘I could have thought of that’ is a very popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn’t, and a very significant and revealing fact it is too. ~Douglas Adams

    To achieve great things two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time. ~ Leonard Bernstein

  21. Ellen Brickley on August 29, 2011 at 5:09 AM

    I have my savings goals for the rest of 2011.

    I’m seriously unpoetic compared to the rest of you guys!

  22. Jamey on August 28, 2011 at 11:28 PM

    “Fight bravely for habit overcomes habit.” Thomas A Kempis

  23. Patti Richter on August 28, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    Not a sticky note, but after staring at the blank first page of a new article (I write weekly with deadlines), I often type the words:

    “Just pray and get started”

    Those words remind me to stop and seek God’s help and direction. And words on a page bring a forward momemtum.

  24. Sofie on August 28, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Sticky 1:
    I’ve already written the worst novel I’m ever going to write.

    Sticky 2:
    Success is a habit, it’s not a Saturday thing.

  25. Martine on August 28, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    I have two: one small picture from my mom that says “Don’t forget to fly!” and my screensaver that says “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

    They both work!

  26. Bethany on August 28, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    I am not the sum of other people’s opinions of me.

  27. Lanita Boyd on August 28, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    On a laminated card between my keyboard and monitor: Your daily disciplines determine your destiny.

    And the first part of Isaiah 30:15: In repentance and rest is your salvation.

    • Lori VanGilder on August 29, 2011 at 10:46 AM

      After I posted my “sticky note” I was scrolling through the other responses and we both have parts of I 30:15
      How incredible.

  28. Michael Collins on August 28, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Don’t jump in and do the easy stuff first. The hard stuff will just get harder.

  29. sherrie on August 28, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    I have tons of sticky notes. Some end up being made into posters. Others end up in piles – one for my novel, another for personal growth, etc.
    The ones I like best are:
    “Picture my Success”
    “I can achieve my heart’s desire”
    and a poster I made with these words:
    will power
    daring effort
    vision vencere’
    Thanks to everyone else who shared here!

  30. Charise on August 28, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    Mine change. I have one with notes of milestones my 12 month old has achieved that I need to enter in his baby book… And this one I saw on facebook:

    The truth does not need me to believe it to be true. The truth simply is and survives- believe it or not. Lies need to be believed. If I don’t believe the lies, they don’t survive and disappear.

    I have very beat up index card on my fridge from Corrie Ten Boom that I love: Every experience God gives us, every person he puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for only a future he can see.

  31. Marilyn T on August 28, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” (Prov. 16:3 NLT)

  32. Beth MacKinney on August 28, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    The only sticky I have tells me that I owe my son $20 for mowing the lawn and my daughter $8 for picking up something at the store for me. Other than that, I use a notebook with columns and headings for the main “compartments” of my life. (That sounds weird.) It helps me get things done by first grouping them. Church/home/school/writing/art/etc.

  33. Courtney Walsh on August 28, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    “Don’t get it right, get it written.”

    And I wish I knew who said that because I love to give credit. 🙂

    Important for me because I am a rule girl. Love to waste tons of time searching for the “best” option…

  34. Lucille Zimmerman on August 28, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    #1 How would the person I’d like to be do the things I’m about to do?

    #2 If my life is motivated by an ambition to leave a legacy,
 what I would probably leave is a legacy of ambition. 

    But, if my life is motivated by the power of God’s spirit in me
 and the awareness of the indwelling Christ,
 if I allow His presence to guide my motives,
 that’s the only time I think we really leave a great legacy.
    ~Rich Mullins

    • Lucille Zimmerman on August 28, 2011 at 6:35 PM

      Hey, I recognize that photo. You’re so cute!

      • Rachelle Gardner on August 28, 2011 at 10:35 PM

        Thanks, Lu!

  35. Andrea on August 28, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    Today I just put a new sticky on my desktop that says: Write first. This is to remind me to start working on my writing before all the other stuff I do that wastes my writing time (like checking blog posts & e-mails).

  36. Jennifer Fromke on August 28, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    One Bird at a time . . .

    -Anne Lamott

  37. Sally Apokedak on August 28, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    You only have to do today, the things God has given you to do today. Tomorrow’s tasks can be done tomorrow.

  38. Christine on August 28, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    My sticky note today is WRITE THE BOOK YOU WANT TO READ.

  39. Patricia Nesbitt on August 28, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    Rachelle: when I taught 4th grade language arts, I taped this saying to my students’ desktops:

    “Writing is a process, not a race.”

    Sometimes I have to remind myself of that.

  40. Danita on August 28, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    Two notes:

    1. Breathe deep. Dream big.

    2. Simply do the next right thing.

  41. elaine @ peace for the journey on August 28, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    I can’t take credit for mine. It came as a piece of advice to me from my writing/mentoring friend, Alicia Chole.

    “Focus on what is small, not big. Near, not far.”

    It’s revolutionized the way I “do” ministry.


  42. Maureen on August 28, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    P.S. I love sticky notes!! What would a writer’s life be without them?

  43. Crafty Mama on August 28, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Funny, I just wrote a note to myself on a sticky note this week!

    “First and foremost, you are a child of God.
    Second, you are a wife to your husband.
    Third, you are a mother to your children.
    Fourth, you are a keeper of your home.
    Everything else comes after that.”

  44. Janet Bettag on August 28, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    My favorite one says “Wouldn’t you rather be writing?”

    I also have one that says, “Do or do not…there is no try.” (It’s a Yoda quote)

    Rachell, I just stole your “One thing at a time” and posted it on the bottom edge of my monitor. Overwhelm is quite possibly my worst enemy. (Although I am probably my own worst enemy!)

  45. otin on August 28, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    By the way, Is that profile pic new? Looks very cheery

  46. Zan Marie on August 28, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    Thanks, Rachelle and everyone else. You have no idea how much I needed to read all of this today. God is good and He directs our steps to what He wants us to learn. Bless you all.

  47. otin on August 28, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    Mine is at the header of my blog….It says:

    If you’re gonna be stupid then you gotta be tough. LOL

    Just got done riding out Irene 🙁

  48. Thedesertrocks on August 28, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    I have at least six piled on top of each other and one or two is research related–but the important ones that motivate are these three.

    “What I wouldn’t give to be 70 again.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, age 92.

    “There is no remedy for love but to love more.” Henry David Thoreau

    “You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist.”
    -Isaac Asimov.”

  49. Donna K. Weaver on August 28, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    If it doesn’t kill me, it makes me stronger.

  50. Maureen on August 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    “Just 25 minutes.” From the Pomodoro Technique, http://www.pomodorotechnique.com, just set the timer and work with focus and concentration for 25 minutes: a do-able, bite size piece for the projects I am procrastinating or afraid to tackle. Really helps me to take that next right step.
    Love this blog post and all the comments – very inspiring!

  51. Latrina on August 28, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    Mine says, “Stop doing the same thing and expecting different results” …

    Btw, it’s so comforting to know there are so many people just like me! So grateful I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago. It has been so encouraging and inspiring!!! :-)))

  52. Clarice James on August 28, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    Just come along quietly, Clarice . . .

  53. Sarah on August 28, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    “No regrets”

  54. Krista Phillips on August 28, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    Whenever I would get overwhelmed at work, a co-worker of mine would peep into my office and say, “Krista, how do you eat an elephant?”

    I’d roll my eyes and say, “One bite and a time… I know.” But it was a similar reminder to just start somewhere, because sitting there with a dazed look on my face accomplishes nothing!

    My newest sticky note in my writing office:

    Breathe (verb)
    Breath (noun)
    Fiancee (bride)
    Fiance (groom)

    I’m tired of having to stop and think about it!

    On a slightly more philosophical tone, I have a little rock that says, “Serve one another through love.” A good everyday reminder!

  55. Kathryn Elliott on August 28, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    “Breathe. Everything else can wait.”

  56. Nancy S. Thompson on August 28, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    Push hard, stay focused & keep your eye on the prize!

  57. ericavetsch03 on August 28, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    I have a quote from Mike Ditka – Success isn’t permanent and failure isn’t fatal.

  58. Heather Lambie on August 28, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    I have 4 post-its:

    1. The universe gives me all the ideas I need, exactly when I need them.

    2. Beware the abstract word. “Beautiful” is abstract and means nothing. We want a word with pearl buttons, spiced rum and creased wax paper.

    3. Don’t tell me the moon in shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. –Anton Chekhov

    4. Finish the dang first draft!!!

    • Jillybean on August 28, 2011 at 11:22 PM

      Heather, #2 is fantastic – I’m going to file that one away for my own use and for when I crit for people, too. [g]

  59. Mayra Calvani on August 28, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    Leap, and the net will appear.

  60. Cyndi on August 28, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Trust the process of life 😉

  61. Darlene Marshall on August 28, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    “You can fix anything but a blank page”–Nora Roberts

  62. Susan Bourgeois on August 28, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    I am at an exciting age. My children are adults. I started my family early at 22. I spent the first three decades of my life raising my family and loving every minute of it.

    This is the time of my life where I can get back to me. It’s a wonderful time and I’m thrilled about my book.

    Here’s what my sticky note says:

    The world is your oyster.
    You have something unique.
    Dream big and make it happen!

  63. Katharine Owens on August 28, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    You are capable of more than you know… Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.
    E. O. Wilson

  64. Joanna Aislinn on August 28, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    Took this from The Pact (p. 62):

    “No matter what you do in life it’s gonna be hard, so you may as well do something worthwhile. At least you’ll reap the benefits in the end.”

    And the sticky note in my mind reminds me always: “I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in God’s plan.”

    Have a great day, Rachelle, and everyone 🙂

  65. Janell Rardon on August 28, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    JUST “BE.”

  66. Jennifer on August 28, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    One step at a time…

  67. Elaine on August 28, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    Do the next right thing


    If you keep doing what your doing, you’ll keep getting what your getting.

  68. Mel's World with Melissa Mashburn on August 28, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    What a great thought…I have a couple but the one that keeps popping back up to the top of the list is from Dory (Finding Nemo)and it is…”Just Keep Swimming”. Some days that is just what I need to keep on plugging! 🙂

    One of my favorites is,
    One always has time enough, if one will apply it well.
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  69. Rosemary Gemmell on August 28, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    Mine is appropriate for my tendency to procrastinate and is now in the header of one of my blogs!

    “If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.” Ivan Turgenev (1818-83)

  70. Richard Mabry on August 28, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    I have various sticky notes above my computer. They come and go, but there’s one laminated card that never moves. It’s from author BJ Hoff, and says:
    It matters not if the world has heard
    Or approves or understands…
    The only applause we’re meant to seek
    Is that of nail-scarred hands.

  71. Krista McLaughlin on August 28, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    One of the greatest quotes that I love to cheer me up or encourage me is from one of the greatest authors ever.

    “A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.”


  72. Peter DeHaan on August 28, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    I recently wrote a couple of blogs about various sayings apropos to writers. Here’s one that is particularly meaningful to me, encouraging me to write well:

    “I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account.” – Dr Luke (Luke 1:2-3)

  73. Amy Armstrong on August 28, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    Sticky #1
    It doesn’t matter so much what other people think of me or what I do.

    Sticky #2
    everything is temporary

  74. Debbie Baskin on August 28, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    Well, my sticky notes are not awe inspiring…

    One tells me my husband’s credit card number… Yep… not mine… his. LOL

    And the one that I change on my computer’s desktop usually says something provocative to my husband that I can’t repeat on your blog. 🙂

  75. Marty, The Napkin Dad on August 28, 2011 at 9:39 AM

    First is massively world famous quote by me.

    “Life is much more unexpected….than I expected”

    Helps me to remember to not get my boxers in a knot when things go in unexpected directions.

    And then, considering I write and draw quotes for a living, whatever napkin I last drew is the ‘sticky note’ in my face.

    Here is my latest, http://www.napkindad.com/2011/08/building-character-failure-week-5.html

  76. Sylvia A. Nash on August 28, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    One foot in front of the other.

    It’s actually posted on my brain and has moved me through some difficult days.

  77. Connie Stevens on August 28, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    I literally wrote a book on sticky notes in 2005. My son had cancer and as we traveled from dr to dr, appt to appt, I had my Bible and a pad of sticky notes. As I read, and God spoke to my heart, I wrote it all down. It’s now in manuscript form–a roadmap throughout our cancer journey.
    The sticky note that greets me from my computer screen daily? “There are no wasted steps in a God-directed journey.”–Kim Vogel Sawyer

  78. Michael on August 28, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    Ha! My boss says I have a “post-it habit”.

    But if I were to narrow it to one like you have here it would be this (ref. I Peter 4:10-11):

    “Speak with God’s words. Serve with God’s strength.”

  79. Lisa Buske on August 28, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    I have one of the larger sticky notes, just a bit bigger than an index card with Proverbs 3:5-8 on it. It used to stick over my sink, or near my computer, and even next to the bathroom mirror. Now it is in the cover of my Bible to remember the Faithful God who took away my daughters pain. I prayed those versus often, and so did she.

  80. Jon Stolpe on August 28, 2011 at 9:01 AM

    Make the most of EVERY opportunity!

  81. Sarah Thomas on August 28, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    God is impossible to satisfy, but easy to please.

    A paraphrase from C.S. Lewis. Helps me when I have those hopeless, I-must-be-perfect moments.

  82. W. Mark Whitlock on August 28, 2011 at 8:36 AM

    A few years ago during a particular struggle, a friend told me about the phrase that helped him through.


    When overwhelmed, go one thing at a time. Don’t worry about goals, vision statements, or 30,000 foot views. Just do the next right thing. When that’s finished, do the next right thing. And so on.

    You’ll avoid distractions (almost) and make incremental progress.

    • Charise on August 28, 2011 at 7:08 PM

      This is one I have been using a lot lately!

  83. Joseph Baran on August 28, 2011 at 8:01 AM

    No great endeavor is without sacrifice.

    Actually that’s how my novel, DREAMS AND DESIRES, opens up. It’s a story of pursuing goals and of love. The story was inspired in part by my own life and I find the saying to be so true in so many ways, regardless of what we do, as no good thing in life ever comes easy. At least not in mine.

  84. Robyn Bradley on August 28, 2011 at 7:47 AM

    I have a bunch, but here are two:

    “It’s not an effort contest. It’s an art contest.” –Seth Godin

    “If you’re not enough before the gold medal, you won’t be enough with it. Being ‘enough’ is going to have to be an inside job.” — paraphrased from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird

  85. Valentina Hepburn on August 28, 2011 at 7:34 AM

    ‘No words, no money.’
    I write brochures, articles and websites, so I have to be tough with myself, otherwise the mortgage won’t get paid.
    The other one is
    ‘Unique, interesting, fabulous. Nothing else will do.’
    I like this one for when I need a kick up the butt when writing my WIP. It seems to work.

  86. Melissa Pearl on August 28, 2011 at 7:25 AM

    Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably, 
and never regret anything.

    I also have…

    “Have you spent anytime with God today? Everything else can wait.”

    If I start any writing session by focussing on Him for a few minutes, I am guaranteed a satisfying time.

  87. Oliver on August 28, 2011 at 7:17 AM

    A coffee mug stain.

  88. Heidi Britz on August 28, 2011 at 7:15 AM

    I have two that point me in the right direction: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” The other is for really overwhelming days, “Just keep swimming”.

  89. C. on August 28, 2011 at 7:09 AM

    It really, genuinely says:


    And it really, genuinely works.

    • Robyn Bradley on August 28, 2011 at 7:45 AM

      Ha! I might need to borrow this. 🙂

    • Natalie Sharpston on August 29, 2011 at 5:50 PM

      I love it. I’m totally stealing it. : )

  90. Lisa Fredersdorf on August 28, 2011 at 6:50 AM

    On my note it actually says:
    “Get done with it already, or you’ll be stupid once you grow up.”

    I don’t even remember how old I was when I wrote it…


  91. Sherri on August 28, 2011 at 6:48 AM

    “It’s not about me!”

    Remembering this frees me from some very unrealistic and paralyzing thoughts, and lets me concentrate on the task at hand, whether writing or doing other work, and reminds me that God is who he is all the time – no matter what the situation or my mood. What a huge relief!

  92. Karen Jordan on August 28, 2011 at 6:17 AM

    “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).

  93. Sally Hepworth on August 28, 2011 at 5:47 AM

    Life is exactly how it should be. Enjoy it.

  94. M on August 28, 2011 at 5:22 AM

    Like others, I have several, and my favorites are:

    “Don’t tell the audience who a character is. Show them what he/she wants.” – Aaron Sorkin

    “Pit the protagonist’s greatest fear against their secret desire.” – a blog post, I believe, though I didn’t credit in my sticky note.

    “You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process.” – xkcd

  95. Stephanie on August 28, 2011 at 4:15 AM

    “Every word needs to move the story forward.”

    Something I learned in a lit class I took a few years ago. The professor was questioning us on why the author used THIS word and not THAT one, what the implications were, and it struck me that every single word needed to be building towards a brilliant denouement. Every word counts. It’s something I think about every time I write, and something that helps me remember my goals for the story.

  96. Beth Ziarnik on August 28, 2011 at 3:36 AM

    I have four. With these, I’m good to go on any given day —

    “Success lies not in being the best, but in doing your best” beats any paralyzing perfectionism into submission.

    “Believe in your ability and in God’s purpose for your writing.”

    “Those who trust in the Lord will never lack any good thing”~Psalm 34:10, NLT. (Which I take to include the successful honing of writing skills, an excellent agent when the time comes, and a publisher when that time comes.)

    For a good dose of encouragement when feeling overwhelmed: “Be strong and courageous and get to work. Don’t be frightened by the size of the task, for the Lord my God is with you; he will not forsake you. He will see to it that everything is finished correctly”~1 Chronicles 28:20, TLB.

  97. Mary Ruth Pursselley on August 28, 2011 at 2:55 AM

    I basically paper my room with sticky notes. I don’t think I could pick just one. 🙂

  98. Marta on August 28, 2011 at 2:53 AM

    “Beware of harking back to what you were once – when God wants you to be something you have never been.” Oswald Chambers

    And while the past has its inscription on our lives, the future is God’s continuous portrayal – of His miraculous imprint upon our lives.
    I need reminders to keep looking forward…I tend to lean back and analyze the past as if I could change it somehow.

  99. Sarah Nicolas on August 28, 2011 at 2:49 AM

    I don’t have sticky notes, but I do have a bracelet I made that says

    “Be the change…”

    As in, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” (Gandhi)

    • Laura Matson Hahn on August 30, 2011 at 12:35 PM

      Sarah: Gahndi did not say that. See the NYT article (OP ED) today on the FALSER WORDS WERE NEVER WRITTEN. Brian Morton from Sarah Lawrence College debunks many of these falsely quoted quips … if you care … which I suppose many don’t.

  100. Nancy Kimball on August 28, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    “Be careful not to confuse what you want to be true, with what really is true.”

    Like Jillybean I have a cork board and desk full, but that’s my favorite.

  101. karen on August 28, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    Treat every day as a new adventure! And it works in every aspect of my life! It has been my inspiration since 1987 and has brought me through many ups and downs.

  102. Celia on August 28, 2011 at 2:12 AM

    ‘What if?’

    It is great to get me started when I’m stuck with the ms.

  103. Stephanie McGee on August 28, 2011 at 2:07 AM

    “One more box”

    Yeah, I know you were looking at something more on the line of overall motivator for all aspects of life or just for writing, but I just moved states and so it’s really the focus.

    It’s the focus so I can finally get back to writing and other important things.

  104. Joanne BIschof on August 28, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    Love all the verses!

    The first thing I think of is my writing notebook that’s always here by the computer. In black sharpie I wrote, “Start with an earthquake and build from there.” Don’t remember who said it first, but its a good reminder when I sit down to write 🙂

  105. Jillybean on August 28, 2011 at 1:29 AM


    I actually have a wall of quotes and comics behind my computer, but the ones that I go to when I need a push are:

    “It isn’t enough to have had an interesting or hilarious or tragic life. Art isn’t anecdote. It’s the consciousness we bring to bear on our lives. For what happened in the story to transcend the limits of the personal, it must be driven by the engine of what the story means.” (from a Dear Sugar column) <– this, to remind myself to touch and to speak the heart of what I want to say.

    "How _dare_ you waste my time with anything less than your very best?" (Taylor Mali) <– this, to kick me in the butt. [g]

  106. S on August 28, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    Begin now to create the life you want to live.

    ….sometimes it actually works to motivate me. LOL

  107. Cheryl Barker on August 28, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    I have a sticky note at the base of my computer monitor. Has been there for a few years now. It says:

    “Wait for the Lord; Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14 (NIV)

  108. Anthony on August 28, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    Sticky #1:

    When I close my eyes
    I am at the center of the sun

    Sticky #2:

    And I cannot be hurt
    By anything this wicked world has done

  109. Deanna on August 28, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    Two notes that stay on my desk, even with their stickiness worn off:

    “… not by might, not by power, but My Spirit says the Lord.” Zech 4:6

    we act on what fills our hearts and minds

  110. T Denise Clary on August 28, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    I have Proverbs 16:9 written down on a notepad on my desk and I look at it whenever I get too bogged down or overwhelmed.

    “A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.” Proverbs 16:9 (AMP)