Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Something to make us Smile and Inspire us.

Feeling bereft of inspiration this week I went agoogling. The wonderful thing about the internet is that you can find almost anything. Here is a Great Quotes site.

The first quote came from Art, but it also applies to books. The rest were under the topic of Writing.

Something profound

Art is not a study of positive reality, it is the seeking for ideal truth. George Sand, 1804-1876, French Novelist

Something tongue in cheek.

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. E.L. Doctorow, 1931 , American novelist

Something from a fellow genre writer.

There is something about the literary life that repels me, all this desperate building of castles on cobwebs, the long-drawn acrimonious struggle to make something important which we all know will be gone forever in a few years, the miasma of failure which is to me almost as offensive as the cheap gaudiness of popular success. Raymond Chandler, 1888-1959, American Author

On why we write.

The need to express oneself in writing springs from a mal-adjustment to life, or from an inner conflict which the adolescent (or the grown man) cannot resolve in action. Those to whom action comes as easily as breathing rarely feel the need to break loose from the real, to rise above, and describe it... I do not mean that it is enough to be maladjusted to become a great writer, but writing is, for some, a method of resolving a conflict, provided they have the necessary talent.
Andre Maurois, 1885-1967, French Writer

Something on style.

It is excellent discipline for an author to feel that he must say all that he has to say in the fewest possible words, or his readers is sure to skip them. John Ruskin, 1819-1900, British Critic, Social Theorist

Something earthy.

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector. This is the writer's radar and all great writers have had it. Ernest Hemingway, 1898-1961, American Writer

Something from a frustrated fellow writer.

Any writer, I suppose, feels that the world into which he was born is nothing less than a conspiracy against the cultivation of his talent. James Baldwin, 1924-1987, American Author

On how hard writing is.

Only amateurs say that they write for their own amusement. Writing is not an amusing occupation. It is a combination of ditch-digging, mountain-climbing, treadmill and childbirth. Writing may be interesting, absorbing, exhilarating, racking, relieving. But amusing? Never! Edna Ferber, 1887-1968, American Author

On how hard success is.

Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day. Ernest Hemingway, 1898-1961, American Writer

And my favourite.

If you describe things as better than they are, you are considered to be a romantic; if you describe things as worse than they are, you will be called a realist; and if you describe things exactly as they are, you will be thought of as a satirist. Quentin Crisp. 1908-, British Author

Do you have any inspirational quotes printed up and pinned to your work area?


Anonymous said...

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

WOW, what a list!

I wonder if Heinlein could do all those things?

Kate said...


Probably. I know a few people who are pretty close to it.

Chris McMahon said...

I always liked:

"Worry is imagination wasted"

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

'Worry is imagination wasted'. I love that, Chris.

My son, when he was 8, was writing his own computer game about 'Legendary Warriors'. Only he spelt it:-

'Legendary Worriers'.

I've known a few of those.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...


I know a guy who lives in the wilds of northern Tasmania, who would probably fit the description.

A Renaissance man.

Kate said...


For that matter, Dave could probably manage most of them, too.


Why worry? There's really only two things to worry about - whether you're healthy or whether you're sick. If you're healthy, no worries. If you're sick, you've only got two things to worry about - whether you live, or whether you die. If you live, no worries. If you die, you've only got two things to worry about - whether you go to Heaven, or whether you go to Hell. If you go to Heaven, no worries. If you go to Hell, you'll be too busy catching up with old friends to worry!

Sarah A. Hoyt said...

I have two quotes in my writing area, which have been tacked to the corkboard for the last seven years. One of them is "Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom" by General George S. Patton.

The other is: IF you must walk on thin ice, you might as well dance!

Sarah A. Hoyt said...

And GEE Kate for a writer, there's another option than heaven or hell. It's called "the convention bar in the sky" where Jim Baen and Heinlein are right now, arguing over something or other and terrorizing the staff. It's where I want to end up.

Dave Freer said...

Kate :-) So long as the list doesn't include 'sing'. I loved the Elizabethan definition of a gentleman and have always aspired to it. Hence jack of all trades...(and yes, I am master of none)

Here is my favorite

"The wanderer has far to go
Humble must he constant be
Where the paths of wisdom lead
Distant is the shadow of the setting sun....

....fellow stars may lead the way
All diversions lead astray
While his resolution holds
Fortune and good will will surely follow him.

Which I believe from the I Ching originally but is Benidictus by Strawbs.

C Kelsey said...

Generally anything from Feynman tends to stick in my head. This one is sticking out right now:

"There are all kinds of interesting questions that come from a knowledge of science, which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts."