"A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit."
“To be an artist means never to avert your eyes."
"The worst thing you do write is better than the best thing you don't write."
--April Young Fritz
"A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us."
"First you jump off the cliff, then you sprout wings."
"If you call yourself a writer, you can read all you want and people think you are working."
"Like everyone else, I am going to die. But the words--the words live on for as long as there are readers to see them, audiences to hear them. It is immortality by proxy. It is not really a bad deal, all things considered."
--J. Michael Straczynski (from Charline Profiri's website)
"You owe it to all of us to get on with what you’re good at."
--W. H. Auden
"Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm."
"Success is that brief interval between a stroke of luck and a stroke."
"It takes a heap of loafing to write a book."
"You see more sitting still than chasing after."
"In order to write you must have confidence in your own experience, that it is rich enough to write about."
"Although sometimes I have felt that I held fire in my hands and spread a page with shining - I have never lost the weight of clumsiness, of ignorance, of aching inability."
"The feeling that the work is magnificent, and the feeling that it is abominable, are both mosquitoes to be repelled, ignored, or killed, but not indulged."
"Like dog food and coffins, children's books are usually picked out by someone other than the ultimate recipient."
"Revision is when you first get to recognize the distance between what you wanted to write, what you thought you were writing, and what you actually did write. That recognition often makes you want to throw up."
"Several delusions weaken the writer’s resolve to throw away work. If he has read his pages too often, those pages will have a necessary quality, the ring of the inevitable, like poetry known by heart; they will perfectly answer their own familiar rhythms."
"If you want to write anything that works, you have to go with the grain of your talent, not against it. If your imagination is inert and sullen in the face of business or politics...but takes fire at the thought of ghosts and vampires and witches and demons, then feed the flames, feed the flames."
"What happens is a reciprocal gift between writer and reader: one heart in hiding reaching out to another."
Favorite Non-Writing Quotes
"Service is the rent we pay for living."
--Marian Wright Edelman
"The cure for all things is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea."
"In the name of certainty, the greatest crimes have been committed against humanity."
"The hardest-learned lesson: that people have only their kind of love to give, not our kind."
"Every accomplishment large and small begins with the same decision: I'll try."
"You gotta stop wearin' your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be."
--Richard from Texas
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
--Philip K. Dick
Reason has moons, but moons not hers.
Lie mirror'd on the sea,
Confounding her astronomers,
But, Oh! delighting me.
"Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world."
"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." — Charles Darwin
"To me real courage is metaphysical and has to do with keeping one's passion for life intact, one's curiosity at full stretch, when one is daily hemmed in by death, disease, and lesser mayhems of the heart."
"People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
--Albert Einstein, 1955
"It is the very nature of a democracy that it not only does, but should, fight with one hand tied behind its back. It is also in the nature of democracy that it prevails against its enemies precisely because it does."
"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner."
"You become what you think about most."
"If there’s no enemy within, the enemy without can do you no harm."
"Life is pain and anyone who tells you something different is selling something."
"Never sacrifice the least bit of comfort for a few cupid feathers."
"The more you know, the less you need."
"What? Atoms for lunch again?"
"The soul is contagious; one man catches another’s like the plague."
"There are no difficult people, only people with difficulties."
"In any room containing 100 people, 99 of them each think that they are the only one in the room who doesn't have his-or-her act together."
--James Howard Kunstler
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."
--Philo of Alexandria
"If there be a skeptical star I was born under it, yet I have lived all my days in complete astonishment."
--W. MacNeile Dixon
"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in."
"When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries of life disappear."
"There are two ways to live: You can live as if nothing is a miracle, or, you can live as if everything is a miracle."
"Third great prayer, after Help and Thanks, is Wow!”
"Laughter is carbonated holiness."
"What will survive of us is love."