Creativity is allowing yourself to make
mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
You don't have to be a "person of influence" to
be influential. In fact, the most influential
people in my life are probably not even aware of
the things they've taught me.
Be daring, be different, be impractical, be
anything that will assert integrity of purpose
and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers,
the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of
About the most originality that any writer can
hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good
One should never criticize his own work except
in a fresh and hopeful mood. The self-criticism
of a tired mind is suicide.
Charles Horton Cooley
Writing is manual labor of the mind: a job, like
John Gregory Dunne
Art begins with resistance - at the point where
resistance is overcome. No human masterpiece has
ever been created without great labor.
The most profound things are inexpressible.
Writing is like walking in a deserted street.
Out of the dust in the street you make a mud
The fact that writers will go through so much to
remain writers says something, perhaps
everything. It would be far easier (and nearly
always more profitable) to become a real estate
The true work of art is but a shadow of the
Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no
If you do not breathe through writing, if you do
not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then
don't write, because our culture has no use for
You've gotta be original, because if you're like
someone else, what do they need you for?
The artist is a receptacle for the emotions that
come from all over the place: from the sky, from
the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing
shape, from a spider's web.
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily
life off our souls.
Fine art is that in which the hand, the head,
and the heart of man go together.
To send light into the darkness of men's hearts
- such is the duty of the artist.
Every creator painfully experiences the chasm
between his inner vision and its ultimate
Isaac Bashevis Singer
I don't invent characters because the Almightly
has already invented millions. Just like experts
at fingerprints do not create fingerprints but
learn how to read them.
Isaac Bashevis Singer
You know... that a blank wall is an apalling
thing to look at. The wall of a museum - a
canvas - a piece of film - or a guy sitting in
front of a typewriter. Then, you start out to do
something - that vague thing called creation.
The beginning strikes awe within you.
A writer should write with his eyes and a
painter paint with his ears.
The artist's world is limitless. It can be found
anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet
away. It is always on his doorstep.
A work of art is the unique result of a unique
Fill your paper with the breathings of your
The artist is nothing without the gift, but the
gift is nothing without work.
If you take responsibility for yourself you will
develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.
There is nothing so easy to learn as experience
and nothing so hard to apply.
Few people even scratch the surface, much less
exhaust the contemplation of their own
Information's pretty thin stuff unless mixed
Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.
John W. Gardner
Life must be understood backwards; but... it
must be lived forward.
We should be careful to get out of an experience
only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there;
lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot
stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot
stove-lid again - and that is well; but also she
will never sit down on a cold one anymore.
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If
your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them
down people's throats.
People of medicore ability sometimes achieve
outstanding success because they don't know when
to quit. Most men succeed because they are
I rate enthusiasm even above professional skill.
When one door closes another door opens; but we
so often look so long and so regretfully upon
the closed door, that we do not see the ones
which open for us.
Alexander Graham Bell
Learning is about more than simply acquiring new
knowledge and insights; it is also crucial to
unlearn old knowledge that has outlive its
relevance. Thus, forgetting is probably at least
as important as learning.
Gary Ryan Blair
Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll
land among the stars.
It's called a pen. It's like a printer, hooked
straight to my brain.
It's time to reappreciate the original software:
Real riches are the riches possessed inside.
B. C. Forbes
Effort only fully releases its reward after a
person refuses to quit.
Web users ultimately want to get at data quickly
and easily. They don't care as much about
attractive sites and pretty design.
What we actually learn, from any given set of
circumstances, determines whether we become
increasingly powerless or more powerful.
All lasting business is built on friendship.
Alfred A. Montapert
Almost all quality improvement comes via
simplification of design, manufacturing...
layout, processes, and procedures.
We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.
One important key to success is
self-confidence. An important key to
self-confidence is preparation. Arthur Ashe
Happiness belongs to those who
are sufficient unto themselves. For all external
sources of happiness and pleasure are, by their
very nature, highly uncertain, precarious,
ephemeral and subject to chance. Arthur
When it is dark enough, you can
see the stars. Charles A. Beard
No one can make you feel inferior
without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt
You cannot teach a man anything;
you can only help him find it within himself.
It is never too late to be what
you might have been. George Eliot
Knowing is not enough; We must
apply. Willing is not enough; We must do. Goethe
Ones best success comes after
their greatest disappointments. Henry Ward
Work joyfully and peacefully,
knowing that right thoughts and right efforts
will inevitably bring about right results. James
Behold the turtle. He only makes
progress when he sticks his neck out. James
Far away there in the sunshine
are my highest aspirations. I may not reach
them, but I can look up and see their beauty,
believe in them, and try to follow where they
lead. Louisa May Alcott
I have learned from experience
that the greater part of our happiness or misery
depends on our dispositions and not on our
circumstances. Martha Washington
Fear defeats more people than any
other one thing in the world. Ralph Waldo
The great successful men of the
world have used their imagination ... they think
ahead and create their mental picture in all it
details, filling in here, adding a little there,
altering this a bit and that a bit, but steadily
building -- steadily building. Robert Collier
Happiness comes of the capacity
to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think
freely, to risk life, to be needed. Storm
Many books require no thought
from those who read them, and for a very simple
reason; they made no such demand upon those who
Charles Caleb Colton,
Lacon, 1820 (1780 - 1832)
Better to write for yourself and
have no public, than to write for the public and
have no self.
(1903 - 1974)
Writing gives you the illusion of
control, and then you realize it's just an
illusion, that people are going to bring their
own stuff into it.
interview in Louisville Courier-Journal, June 5,
2005 American writer
The skill of writing is to create
a context in which other people can think.
How vain it is to sit down to
write when you have not stood up to live.
Henry David Thoreau
US Transcendentalist author (1817 - 1862)
It is not a bad idea to get in
the habit of writing down one's thoughts. It
saves one having to bother anyone else with
I write entirely to find out what
I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see
and what it means. What I want and what I fear.
US author & journalist (1934 - )
The way you define yourself as a
writer is that you write every time you have a
free minute. If you didn't behave that way you
would never do anything.
US novelist (1942 - )
Thus, in a real sense, I am
constantly writing autobiography, but I have to
turn it into fiction in order to give it
The Spying Heart, 1989
Inspiration is wonderful when it
happens, but the writer must develop an approach
for the rest of the time... The wait is simply
US composer & conductor (1918 - 1990)
I write because Iím afraid to say
some things out loud.
Real Live Preacher,
Real Live Preacher weblog, 03-13-05
Anonymous author of RealLivePreacher.com
This is the challenge of writing.
You have to be very emotionally engaged in what
youíre doing, or it comes out flat. You canít
fake your way through this.
Real Live Preacher,
RealLivePreacher.com Weblog, January 29, 2004
Anonymous author of RealLivePreacher.com
Writing is not necessarily
something to be ashamed of, but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards.
US science fiction author (1907 - 1988)
If you don't have the time to
read, you don't have the time or the tools to
On Writing, p. 147
US horror novelist & screenwriter (1947 - )
There are three rules for writing
the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they
W. Somerset Maugham
English dramatist & novelist (1874 - 1965)
You can't wait for inspiration.
You have to go after it with a club.
US adventurer, author, & sailor (1876 - 1916)
So you see, imagination needs
moodling - long, inefficient, happy idling,
dawdling and puttering.
Imagination is the beginning of
creation. You imagine what you desire, you will
what you imagine and at last you create what you
George Bernard Shaw
Irish dramatist & socialist (1856 - 1950)
Everyone has the obligation to
ponder well his own specific traits of
character. He must also regulate them adequately
and not wonder whether someone else's traits
might suit him better. The more definitely his
own a man's character is, the better it fits
Roman author, orator, & politician (106 BC - 43
I am still determined to be
cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may
be; for I have also learned from experience that
the greater part of our happiness or misery
depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our
US wife of George Washington 1759 (1732 - 1802)
Human beings, by changing the
inner attitudes of their minds, can change the
outer aspects of their lives.
US Pragmatist philosopher & psychologist (1842 -
Success in business requires
training and discipline and hard work. But if
you're not frightened by these things, the
opportunities are just as great today as they
US banker (1915 - )
They always say time changes
things, but you actually have to change them
The Philosophy of Andy Warhol US artist (1928 -
Only I can change my life. No one
can do it for me.
US actress & comedienne (1936 - )
The universe is change; our life
is what our thoughts make it.
Roman Emperor, A.D. 161-180 (121 AD - 180 AD)
Change your thoughts and you
change your world.
Norman Vincent Peale
US clergyman (1898 - 1993)
Life ought to be a struggle of
desire toward adventures whose nobility will
fertilize the soul.
Irish critic, journalist, & novelist (1892 -
All truths are easy to understand
once they are discovered; the point is to
Italian astronomer & physicist (1564 - 1642)
The beginning of knowledge is the
discovery of something we do not understand.
US science fiction novelist (1920 - 1986)
I do not know what I may appear
to the world; but to myself I seem to have been
only like a boy playing on the seashore, and
diverting myself in now and then finding a
smoother pebble or a prettier shell than
ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay
all undiscovered before me.
From Brewster, Memoirs of Newton (1855)
English mathematician & physicist (1642 - 1727)
If I have ever made any valuable
discoveries, it has been owing more to patient
attention, than to any other talent.
English mathematician & physicist (1642 - 1727)
The real voyage of discovery
consists not in seeking new landscapes but in
having new eyes.
French novelist (1871 - 1922)
There is no harm in doubt and
scepticism, for it is through these that new
discoveries are made.
Letter to Armando Garcia J, December 11, 1985 US
educator & physicist (1918 - 1988)
Remember that fear always lurks
behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and
allowing yourself the right to be human can,
paradoxically, make you a far happier and more
David M. Burns
No passion so effectually robs
the mind of all its powers of acting and
reasoning as fear.
"A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our
Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful", 1756 Irish
orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)
I've grown certain that the root
of all fear is that we've been forced to deny
who we are.
Frances Moore Lappe,
O Magazine, May 2004
Fear is the tax that conscience
pays to guilt.
Fear is a question: What are you
afraid of, and why? Just as the seed of health
is in illness, because illness contains
information, your fears are a treasure house of
self-knowledge if you explore them.
Fear is that little darkroom
where negatives are developed.
To use fear as the friend it is,
we must retrain and reprogram ourselves...We
must persistently and convincingly tell
ourselves that the fear is here--with its gift
of energy and heightened awareness--so we can do
our best and learn the most in the new
Don't be discouraged by a
failure. It can be a positive experience.
Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success,
inasmuch as every discovery of what is false
leads us to seek earnestly after what is true,
and every fresh experience points out some form
of error which we shall afterwards carefully
English lyric poet (1795 - 1821)
Grief is the agony of an instant,
the indulgence of grief the blunder of a life.
British politician (1804 - 1881)
The only cure for grief is
Even his griefs are a joy long
after to one that remembers all that he wrought
Greek epic poet (800 BC - 700 BC)
Anger makes you smaller, while
forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you
"If Love Is a Game, These Are the Rules"
If you haven't forgiven yourself
something, how can you forgive others?
The hatred you're carrying is a
live coal in your heart - far more damaging to
yourself than to them.
The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark, 1999
The reason most people never
reach their goals is that they don't define
them, or ever seriously consider them as
believable or achievable. Winners can tell you
where they are going, what they plan to do along
the way, and who will be sharing the adventure
Energy is the essence of life.
Every day you decide how you're going to use it
by knowing what you want and what it takes to
reach that goal, and by maintaining focus.
O Magazine, July 2003 US actress & television
talk show host (1954 - )
In absence of clearly defined
goals, we become strangely loyal to performing
daily acts of trivia.
Quotations by unknown authors
Gratitude is born in hearts that
take time to count up past mercies.
Charles E. Jefferson
(1860 - 1937)
Most folks are about as happy as
they make up their minds to be.
16th president of US (1809 - 1865)
Do not weep; do not wax
Dutch Jewish philosopher (1632 - 1677)
Happiness is that state of
consciousness which proceeds from the
achievement of one's values.
US (Russian-born) novelist (1905 - 1982)
Many persons have a wrong idea of
what constitutes true happiness. It is not
attained through self-gratification but through
fidelity to a worthy purpose.
US blind & deaf educator (1880 - 1968)
Happiness is when what you think,
what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
Indian ascetic & nationalist leader (1869 -
Remember that happiness is a way
of travel - not a destination.
Opportunity is missed by most
people because it is dressed in overalls and
looks like work.
Thomas A. Edison
US inventor (1847 - 1931)