Where to Find Inspiration: 50 Quotes for Writers

Where to Find Inspiration: 50 Quotes for Writers

Do you want to know where to find inspiration for writing? Take a look at these quotes for writers.

How to live the creative life

1. To live a creative life we must first lose the fear of being wrong. ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce

2. Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose…not the one you began with perhaps, but one you’ll be glad to remember.
~Anne Sullivan Macy

3. You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it. ~ Neil Gaiman

4. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance. ~ Samuel Johnson

How to be a writer

5. The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to says ~Anais Nin

6. Start before you’re ready. ~Steven Pressfield

7. Do the work. ~Steven Pressfield

8. If you want to be a writer, you must do two things about all others:  read a lot and write a lot…reading is the creative center of a writer’s life…you cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you. ~Stephen King

9. There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. ~Ernest Hemingway

10. Writing is like sex; you don’t have to wait until you’re an expert to begin doing it. ~ Anonymous

11. Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere ~Anne Lamott

12. A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. ~Richard Bach

13. The desire to write grows with writing. ~Desiderius Erasmus

14. The great advantage of being a writer is that you can spy on people. You’re there, listening to every word, but part of you is observing. Everything is useful to a writer, you see—every scrap, even the longest and most boring of luncheon parties. ~Graham Greene

15. Being a writer means taking the leap from listening to saying, “Listen to me”. ~Jhumpa Lahiri

16.  Don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work ~Pearl S. Buck

17. The one ironclad rule is that I have to try. I have to walk into my writing room and pick up my pen every weekday morning. ~Anne Tyler

18. Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing. ~E. L. Doctorow

Where to find inspiration

19. Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time. ~ Leonard Bernstein

20. Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy. ~ Pyotr Tchaikovsky

21. Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work. ~ Stephen King

22. I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning. ~P eter De Vries

23. If you wait for inspiration to write; you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter. ~ Dan Poynter

Advice on writing

24. Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~ Anton Chekhov

25. Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon. ~ E.L. Doctorow

26. Write with the complete palette of emotions. ~ Cindy Lambert

27. Write your first draft with your heart. Rewrite with your head. ~ Mike Rich

28. The difference between the almost right word and the right work is really a large matter—it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning. ~ Mark Twain

29. I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~ Elmore Leonard

30. Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very;” otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. ~ C.S. Lewis

31. First, find out what your hero wants. Then just follow him. ~ Ray Bradbury

32. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material…..John Steinbeck

33. When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand. ~ Raymond Chandler

34. The objective of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story …to make him/her forget, whenever possible, that he/she is reading a story at all. Stephen King

35. Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. ~ Barbara Kingsolver

36. Fiction does not spring into the world fully grown, like Athena. It is the process of writing and rewriting that makes a fiction original, if not profound. ~ John Gardner

37. It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does. ~ William Faulkner

38. Writing a novel is like heading out over the open sea in a small boat. It helps if you have a plan and a course laid out. ~ John Garner

39. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action. ~ William Shakespeare

What to write

40. Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

41. Write what you know. Write what you want to know more about. Write what you’re afraid to write about. ~ Cec Murphy

42. Write about what makes you different. ~ Sandra Cisneros

43. Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way. ~ Ray Bradbury

44. Never tell a story because it is true:  tell it because it is a good story. ~ John Penland Mahaffy

Writer’s Block

45. You can’t think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block. ~ John Rogers

46. I’ve often said that there’s no such thing as writer’s block; the problem is idea block. When I find myself frozen–whether I’m working on a brief passage in a novel or brainstorming about an entire book–it’s usually because I’m trying to shoehorn an idea into the passage or story where it has no place. ~ Jeffery Deaver

47. I think writer’s block is simply the dread that you are going to write something horrible. But as a writer, I believe that if you sit down at the keys long enough,  sooner or later something will come out. ~ Roy Blount, Jr.


48. Mistakes are the portals of discovery. ~ James Joyce

49. Failure? I never encountered it. All I ever met were temporary setbacks. ~ Dottie Walters

50. You fail only if you stop writing. ~ Ray Bradbury

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The Secret of Malcolm Gladwell’s Success


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10 Ways Honesty Makes You More Money

Altucher Confidential

10 Ways Honesty Makes You More Money

Posted: 07 Jul 2012 08:04 AM PDT

Admit it: you were jealous of Bernie Madoff. For a split second. That night in December, 2008 when you first heard the news, interrupting the ongoing panic of every bank going out of business, every job disappearing, every ATM machine running out of cash, the organic fruit at the farmer’s market skyrocketing to $200 an apple. For a brief moment, you heard that news and you thought, “He stole $65 billion. Man, I would’ve had cosmetic surgery on my face and then moved to Brazil with that kind of money.”

(dishonesty will ultimately hold you back)

And then the truth came out. The news that the money was never there in the first place. The suicides. The owner of the Mets managed to get his money back just in time. A woman from Minnesota called me, crying, saying “why is it they keep going on about the poor jews who lost their money. I’m a Christian and I lost my last $800,000.” It became a bit more real then. Madoff in jail. His wife was left with a measly million or two and finally the horror of their son killing himself.

But, for a moment, there was: what would I do with $65 billion?

And then reality: the only way to make money in this world is to lie and steal.

I get that question a lot (i.e. more than twice in the past few weeks) in my Twitter Q&A sessions: why is it that you have to be dishonest to succeed in this world? And people don’t believe me when I say that’s not true. They say back, “that’s not been my experience.”

Not: do you have to be dishonest to succeed? Nobody asks that. People seem to know the answer already and they want to know, structurally, why is this truth?

Capitalism is still suffering from the mortal blow struck it in 2008. Everyone was a crook. And Madoff was just the tip of the iceberg. Mubarak’s family ran away with $200 billion by the time he was kicked out of Egypt. Every day I get in my inbox news of another Ponzi scheme. Yesterday it was a $4.9 million dollar hedge fund down in some swamp country in Florida.

Why? People want to know. People maybe want some justification. Maybe they are really asking: ok, I’ve been avoiding it until now but should I take the plunge and start being dishonest in order to make money? And then maybe the next question: can you give a “top 10” for how to be dishonest and make money?

The problem is this: they are completely wrong. Dishonesty  never works. Honesty is the only way to make money in today’s world.

Nobody believes me on this. People laugh at me. “Don’t you know anything? Of course dishonest people step on the honest people and have more success.” People want to justify their own failures and use their pretend-goodness to explain why they didn’t start Google, or steal $65 billion, or get that last promotion when the backstabbing bitch from aisle3 got the raise after doing who knows what.

But here’s the truth.

Dishonesty works…until it doesn’t. Everyone messes up. And when you are dishonest you are given only one chance and then it’s over. You’re out of the game, at least until you get your act straight and you have to start from scratch with your tail between your legs.

Honesty compounds. It compounds exponentially. No matter what happens in your bank account, in your career, in your promotions, in your startups.  Honesty compounds exponentially over not days or weeks but years and decades. More people trust your word and spread the news that you are a person to be sought out, sought after, given opportunity, given help, given money. This is what will build your empire.

I know this through countless failures. The more times I fail but communicate about it, the more times I make no money at all but let someone have ideas for free, the more times I try to “get mine” but only end up getting stabbed by those who think its ok to be dishonest, the greater the number of seeds planted and the more money in the long run I’ve made.  Be dishonest once, and all of those seeds will be washed away in a thunderstorm of life-killing proportions. A hurricane of despair that will sweep away all of your opportunities forever.

10 Ways to Be Honest:

–          Give Credit. Even if the ideas were all yours. Even if you made nothing on them. Even if they were blatantly stolen. Give credit and move on. Hoarding your ideas for the moment when you can shine, will only leave by yourself in a dimly lit room.

–          BE THE SOURCE. “But if I give ideas for free, what if they could’ve made a billion dollars. I always get screwed by my partners.” If you are the source of ideas then you are ALWAYS the source. Forget the losers who steal. Move on. You become THE fountain of ideas. People come to the fountain and make wishes and throw money in. Don’t be a trickle of dirty water. Be the fountain and let people know it by giving away all credit and rewards.

–          Introduce Two People. Every day you can think of at least two people to introduce to each other that will help each other. You don’t have to be in the middle. “Take me off cc” you should say. Let them help each other. Let them benefit. You don’t need to be in the middle and benefit this time. You’ll benefit next time. Or the time after that. Even if it means giving up opportunities for yourself if you think someone else would be better for the job.

–          Take the Blame. I messed up in October, 2008. I was going through separation, financial crisis, I was scared out of my mind. I was managing a little bit of money a hedge fund had allocated me. I was down that month. It was ground zero of the goddamn financial crisis. I would sleep in my hammock until it would rain and storm all over me and the next thing I would know the Dow was down another 700 points while I was soaked and sick and angry. The hedge fund manager called me at the end of the month and said, “look, I’ve called you 10 times and you didn’t return the call. Just return the call once and it would’ve been ok. Now I’ve got to take the money back.” He was right. We’re good friends now and have worked together since but it took a few years to build back the trust.

–          Don’t lead a double life. Everything you do takes up space in your brain. If you live a double life (and you know what I mean if I’m talking to you) then that extra life takes up neurons and synapses working overtime. The brain can’t handle it. It starts to degrade instead of grow. Living a double lilfe might’ve given you momentary pleasure but now your brain is heading straight for the gutter. And your finances, which is a reflection of the health of your brain, will fall straight into the sewer with it.

–          Don’t be Angry. Anger is a form of dishonesty. Nobody’s perfect. It’s a lie to expect the people around you to be perfect. Sometimes I’m angry at my kids. But they are just kids. Sometimes I’m angry at people I’m trying to do deals with. But they have their own motivations, fears, worries, anxieties. They don’t have to do everything I expect of them. So my anger is really a belief that they should do what I expect them to do. That’s lying to myself and dishonest in my expectations of them.  Of course, you can’t control your anger. Sometimes it just happens. But note it for what it is, examine it, and try to turn it around, even just a little – in order to learn more about yourself rather than to blame someone else. That’s where the honesty will compound.

–          No excuses. When I lost money in October, 2008 it was easy to blame a manipulated market and all the criminals that led it to be that way. When I lost millions of dollars in 2000 to the point of going completely broke and losing my home it was easy to blame an “Internet bust” and “corrupt CEOs” rather than my own lack of experience in the world of money. Excuses are easy lies we tell ourselves to cover up our failures. One such excuse is, “only dishonest people get ahead.” This is also a lie.

–          Make Others Look Good. This is more than just giving credit. There’s a commonly quoted rule in management: “The Pareto Rule” – which states that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. This is, in part, a product of an inferior standardized educational system where kids for 20 years are encouraged to do the minimum required to pass and make to the the next “level” on some imaginary ladder of success. But everyone wants to be acknowledged for small achievement. Take out your microscope. Acknowledge even the smallest accomplishments done by the people around you. Bring more and more of the people around you into the 20%. At heart, everyone wants to be perceived as special. That’s because everyone is special but are often never acknowledged that way. You be different. Be aware of the smallest movements around you and acknowledge them. Nobody will forget that.

–          Don’t gossip. One time I trashed an entrepreneur I had invested in to another investor. Later that day I was supposed to have dinner with the entrepreneur. By that time, just four hours later, he had heard I trashed him. He never trusted me again. People always hear. And if they don’t hear, they feel, because word gets around. And you can’t predict this. And it’s another way of living a double life.

–          Do what you say you’re going to do. Be that guy.

BONUS POINT: Ok, I said 10. But I’m doing 11. In 1999 some of my employees in my first company left and started a competitor. Some of my partners were mad. I encouraged the employees. How come? Because nobody needs to be my employee for their entire lives. Always help people grow into their own potential. My only thing I tell these people is: “if you ever find me in the gutter with a needle sticking out of my elbow, please help me out.” They laugh and say, “that will never happen.” Believe me. Anything can happen. I’ve been helped out of that gutter more than once.

I haven’t always been honest. I try. And I hope I’m getting better. I try every day to improve and to follow the advice above. Else I wouldn’t give the advice.

But I’ve seen it. People who have been in business for 10, 20, 40 years. Honestly compounds little by little. And that compounding turns into millions or billions. The dishonest people disappear. They die. They go to jail. They don’t maximize their potential. They run. They are scared.

You will have nobody to run from.  Some people will hate you. Some people will doubt your sincerity. But the people who need someone to call, someone to share with, someone to give to, these people will know who to call. They will call you.

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If everything is just an experiment, why will there be an failure?


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love is not an exchange or trade…it’s give

我爱你,不光因为你的样子;还因为,和你在一起时,我的样子。我爱你,不光因为你为我而做的事;还因为,为了你,我能做成的事。我爱你,因为你能唤出,我最真的那部分,我的傻气 我的弱点,在你的目光里几乎不存在;我心里最美丽的地方,被你的光芒照得通亮。————罗伊•克里夫特《爱》

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<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/42372767″>Neil Gaiman Addresses the University of the Arts Class of 2012</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/uartsphilly”>The University of the Arts (Phl)</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

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going back

On December 26th 2000, I landed at Toronto international airport, as a foreign student. A family friend picked me up from the airport, after about 2 hour drive in feet deep snow, we arrived at a small town called Waterloo. He dropped me off at a church near university of Waterloo, where I started my 12-year  life of living aboard…Just like most of the chinese parents at that time, my parents wanted me to go to study abroad, so I could have a better education which will lead to a better life. At the age of 23, right after finished my undergrad study, I just followed their instruction, as always (well, most of the time) without knowing much what it really means about going abroad to study.

Today, June 12th 2012, 6:33am, after a sleepless night, I decided it’s time to go back China, where I come from. I don’t know if it’s a good decision or bad one, but I know it’s time to go. Not sure how long I will stay in China or even where I will stay in China. That’s OK! Even after sometime, I decide to leave home again, at least it will be on my own decision.

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Winemakers’ Secrets Revealed!


Winemakers’ Secrets Revealed!

Mark T. Card on May 21, 2012, 6:22 PM


Ten years ago, when I was a neophyte oenophile, the Benziger family came to do a tasting.  They brought fresh pressed, 9-hour old, raw, unfiltered Syrah grape juice.

The flavors in the juice were overwhelming:   the free run Syrah juice bore absolutely no resemblance to Syrah wines.  I tasted blackberry, green tea, lime, pineapple, cream and bramble.  The texture was rich and creamy, coated the mouth and tongue and left a good impression of tannin.  Above all, what threw me was that it was sweet –  palate shocking sweet.

That libation, however divine, wasn’t what struck me the most.  How on earth could the winemaker know that the sweet, viscous, complex fluid I had just tasted would end up with a wine so dark, in flavor, color and impression?  How could something sweet and lively become so brooding and even a little sweaty?  How did winemakers do this?

There was only one answer:  they were allied with the black arts.

I had no choice but to devote the next decade of my life to questing for this arcane knowledge.  I now know the most clandestine of their ways, dear reader, and will reveal them to you!

Secret one:  Winemakers are really just farmers

This is the biggest secret of the winemaker – they’re no different than tomato or corn or apple farmers.   They get up early and eat massive breakfasts.  They work all damn day, from first light to well after dark.  They love the fruit of the vine as much as the fruit of their loins.  Their days are dedicated to sweat, dirt, vines, sun, fertilizer, tractors and pruning shears.  Just simple farmers…who make the best drink known to heaven and earth.

Secret two:  Winemakers do a Herculean task

Think your job is complex?  Balderdash!  In addition to being a farmer, winemakers must be part biochemist, meteorologist, tour guide, PR specialist, gambler, artist, educator, gourmand and pioneer!   Bottling line break down?  Add mechanic to that list.  Iowa legislature make direct sales legal?  There’s tax attorney, accountant and shipper added to the job description.  Too much alcohol in your wine?  Reverse osmosis will fix your problem – add physicist to the resumé!

You see the point – winemakers must be experts at becoming experts.  This is not a job everyone can do…it’s beyond , the actuarial accountant, the Navy Seal and the brain surgeon.  I certainly couldn’t do it!

Secret three:  Winemakers know their job is waaaay better than yours

Winemakers must feel some of the greatest job satisfaction on the planet.  The love of wine is everywhere.  It’s in the eyes of the couple toasting their 50th wedding anniversary with a bottle of Champagne.  It’s in the boardroom, where a cluster of executives celebrate their IPO with cigars and a glass of Port.  It’s in the shy girl’s million candlewatt smile as she watches her new fiancé  pour their first glass of Chardonnay as a betrothed couple.

They must jump out of their beds to start the day.

Secret four:  Winemakers love beer

Winemakers love beer.  I went to an industry event in 2004 called Pinot Camp, a kind of school to promote Oregon wines.  Yes, we drank oceans of great Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling, but I haven’t drunk so much beer since college!

And winemakers don’t just like beer, they drink beer at every step along the winemaking path – planting, pruning, harvest, crush, aging and bottling.  Winemaking is dirty, hot work – beer is an ideal refreshment when the job is done.

One other thing – winemakers don’t understand beverage rivalry.  It doesn’t exist.  This isn’t politics and it’s certainly not dogs vs. cats!  There’s just no time for this kind of nonsense.

Secret five:  Winemakers are a humble lot

This love of beer lead me to discover the winemaker’s truest, most shameful secret! With enough beers in them, they will admit their most shameful secret – each time they interfere with Mother Nature, the best they can hope for is NOT to screw up the wine.  The old saw about good wine starting in the vineyards really is true – a winemaker can help a wine along at certain phases of its construction, but these actions come at great risk of ruining it.  Winemakers know that they are genuinely at the mercy of God, the vagaries of the environment and randomness of luck.

Naturally (pun intended), these aren’t the only secrets of the winemaker, but I can’t reveal all of them.  I will leave you with one thought, however, to put this all in perspective.  Winemakers, above all, are agents of the human spirit, no matter how mysterious (and I do mean genuine mystery) they seem.  Danish writer Isaak Dinesen gives us perspective here, on wine and the human condition:

“What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with mindful artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?”


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5、领袖人物的六大能力: 一是有肚量去容纳那些不能改变的事; 二是有毅力去推动那些可能作好的事; 三是有能量去扭转那些偏离方向的事; 四是有智慧去分辨那些非此即彼的事; 五是有恒心去完成那些看似无望的事; 六是有勇气去面对那些已知做错的事。

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Hard work on the right things by Seth Godin Hard work on the right things by Seth Godin

Hard work on the right things by Seth Godin

I don’t think winners beat the competition because they work harder. And it’s not even clear that they win because they have more creativity. The secret, I think, is in understanding what matters.

It’s not obvious, and it changes. It changes by culture, by buyer, by product and even by the day of the week. But those that manage to capture the imagination, make sales and grow are doing it by perfecting the things that matter and ignoring the rest.

Both parts are difficult, particularly when you are surrounded by people who insist on fretting about and working on the stuff that makes no difference at all.

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