Saturday, June 8, 2013

Quotes for Writers (and others)

My friend, Jan Christensen, recently did a blog on helpful quotes she’s collected. Hers are on writing advice and I loved the post!

It got me thinking about the mishmash of quotes I’ve collected over the years. On the chance that some of them may interest you, I’ll throw a bunch out here. These aren’t all writing advice. Many are inspiration (I seem to need that often). Some are just funny (I need that, too.)

“Write like a shark. Keep moving or you die.” My paraphrase from a Neil Gaiman article. This one is currently taped to my monitor.

Others are gathered into files with various names because I forget I already have a file for quotes.

This one resurfaced on the Short Mystery Fiction list recently:
"Writing is a lot like prostitution. First you do it for love. Then you do it for money. Then you recruit others." --Moliere

This one also came from a discussion on the Short Mystery Fiction List.
I'm thinking literary focuses on the moment when the character changes, and the genre focuses on what the character does with that change. --Stephen D. Rogers

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." --Pablo Picasso

"It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop." – Confucius

"You have seen, but you have not observed." --Sherlock Holmes

"I have lost all sense of home, having moved about so much. It means to me now -- only the place where the books are kept." That's my favorite Steinbeck quote. --Elaine Viets

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying I will try again tomorrow.” --Old Irish Saying

"Change is a dragon. You can ignore it, which is futile. You can fight it, in which case you will lose. Or you can ride it.” -- Arianne Wing on the closing of the world-famous Imperial Dynasty restaurant in Hanford, CA; quoted in The Hanford Sentinel, Dec. 17, 2005.

"No one in this world is useless if he lightens the burden of it for someone else." -Charles Dickens

"I started out very quiet and I beat Mr. Turgenev. Then I trained hard and I beat Mr. de Maupassant. I've fought two draws with Mr. Stendhal, and I think I had an edge in the last one. But nobody's going to get me in any ring with Mr. Tolstoy unless I'm crazy or I keep getting better." --Ernest Hemingway

"Every time you sit down to write, you should be afraid of losing the reader at any moment of any page."-- Playwright William Gibson:

What are your favorites for inspiration, guidance, amusement?

All photos public domain from


Marilyn Levinson said...

Enjoyed reading your collection of quotes. Right now I can't think of any one that I count on to inspire me.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Loved the quotes, Kaye. One of my favorites (and I'm paraphrasing here) is from Agatha Christie who said that her best inspirations
for her novels came to her while she was doing dishes. I wonder if the modern dishwasher would have ruined her muses. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kaye,

Loved reading through your collection of quotes. I also collect them and tend to focus on different favorites each month.

Here are my "June" favorites:

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." Neale Donald Walsch

"Instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box." Deepak Chopra

"To gain your own voice, forget about having it heard." Allen Ginsberg


Morgan Mandel said...

Thanks for the great examples!

Morgan Mandel

Kaye George said...

Thank you, Jean and Joanne. I love these!

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