Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties.

Anonymous Chinese Saying

Even the highest towers begin from the ground.

Muhammad Ali

The man who has no imagination has no wings.


The soul never thinks without a mental picture.

Yogi Berra

Unidentified Reporter: Has this rookie exceeded your expectations?

Yogi Berra: I’d say he’s done more than that.

Lawrence Block

A writer is working from the instant the alarm clock goes off to the moment when he goes to bed.  For that matter, the process does not stop when I’m asleep.  The old subconscious mind takes over then and sifts things around and sets the stage for the next day’s work.

Elizabeth Bowen

Much of my writing is verbal painting.

Phillip Brooks

Life comes before literature, as the material always comes before the work.  The hills are full of marble before the world blooms with statues.

Charles Darwin

Language is half art, half instinct.

Rene Descartes

To be possessed of a vigorous mind is not enough; its prime requisite is rightly to apply it.

James Dickey

Find something only you can say.

Emily Dickinson

Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door

Benjamin Disraeli

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.

James Ellroy

The interest is easy.  The concentration . . . you need a very very strong superstructure. . . . You know, you need a big big superstructure and the determination to make it work.  Now, one of the big revelations for me, early on as a writer when I was into writing The Big Nowhere, was that I realized I could execute whatever I could conceive of.

Robert Frost

All thought is a feat of association: having what’s in front of you bring up something in your mind that you almost didn’t know you knew.  Putting this and that together.  That click.


Knowing is not enough, we must apply.  Willing is not enough, we must do.

Heather Hall-Martin

Writing what you know is good for the soul.  Writing what you don’t know is good for the mind.  In either case, if done well, it’s good for the reader.

Ernest Hemingway

Find what gave you emotion, what action gave you excitement.  Then write it down, making it clear so the reader can see it too.

George V. Higgins

My whole life, I’ve been a great eavesdropper.  The nuances of ordinary speech interest me, but what really fascinates me is the person who is so caught up in what he’s saying that he tells more truth than he intends to.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

A thought is often original, though you have uttered it a hundred times.

Sam Horn

It’s hard to stay on purpose if we don’t know what our purpose is.

Victor Hugo

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.

Thomas Kempis

The object of education isn’t knowledge; it’s action.

Steven Leacock

Writing is not hard.  Just get paper and pencil, sit down, and write it as it occurs to you.  The writing is easy — it’s the occurring that’s hard.

John LeCarre

“The cat sat on the mat” is not the beginning of a story.  “The cat sat on the dog’s mat” is.

Doris Lessing

In the writing process, the more the story cooks, the better.  The brain works for you even when you’re at rest.  I find dreams particularly useful.  I myself think a great deal before I go to sleep, and the details unfold in the dream.

Wilson Mizner

Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down.

Sir Walter Raleigh

I can’t write a book commensurate with Shakespeare, but I can write a book by me.

Francois de la Rochefoucauld

It often happens that things come into the mind in a more finished form than could have been achieved after much study.

John Steinbeck

Ideas are like rabbits.  You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

Henry David Thoreau

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.

Mark Twain

No sinner was ever saved . . . after the first twenty minutes of the sermon.

Oscar Wilde

To believe is very dull.  To doubt is intensely engrossing.

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