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Quotes

I love writing quotes and here are some of my favourites:

Biography
  • “I read biographies backwards beginning with the death. If that takes my fancy I go through the rest. Childhood seldom interests me at all.” Alan Bennett
  • “In these days a man is nobody unless his biography is kept so far posted up that it may be ready for the national breakfast-table on the morning after his demise.” Anthony Trollope (1815-1882)
  • “When I am dead, I hope it may be said, ‘His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.” Hilaire Belloc (‘On his books’, 1923).
  • “Biographies are likely either to be acts of worship or acts of destruction. And the best ones have elements of both.” Biographer/children’s author Humphrey Carpenter
  • “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” Oscar Wilde (‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, 1895)
  • “An autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last instalment missing.” Quentin Crisp (‘The Naked Civil Servant’, 1968)
  • “I have decided to keep a full journal, in the hope that my life will perhaps seem more interesting when it is written down.” Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole
  • “It’s the good girls who keep the diaries. The bad girls never have the time.” US talk-show host Tallulah Bankhead
  • “Don’t live in your past but always learn from it.” author unknown
  • “The control centre of your life is your attitude” author unknown
  • “There are three things that are extremely hard: steel, diamond and to know one’s self.” author unknown
Children
  • “The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.” Albert Einstein
  • “In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.” Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (his name always reminds me of Kevin Kline in ‘A fish called Wanda’ :))
  • “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw
  • “If my heart can become pure and simple, like that of a child, I think there probably can be no greater happiness than this.” Kitaro Nishida
  • “Children make you want to start life over.” Muhammad Ali
  • “I know not how I seem to others, but to myself I am but a small child wandering upon the vast shores of knowledge, every now and then finding a small bright pebble to content myself with.” Plato
  • “An honest man is always a child.” Socrates
Computer-related
  • “To err is human but to really foul things up requires a computer.” (sadly not attributed to anyone)
  • “Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.” John F Kennedy back in 1963
  • “I try not to write on a computer because it is so distracting. When I’m working on fiction the urge to compulsively check stuff is very bad – it does encourage enormous literalism having that instant access to information. I went back to writing on manual typewriters about five years ago.” one of my favourite authors: Will Self
Editing
  • “Despite their solitary image, writers are often to be found in the most convivial of circumstances, particularly when the drinks flow and there is a chance to talk about each other’s work.” Alex Clark, Editor, Granta new writing short story magazine
  • “Editing is everything. Cut until you can cut no more. What is left often springs into life.” Esther Freud
  • “Listen to what you have written. A dud rhythm in a passage of dialogue may show that you don’t understand the characters well enough to write in their voices.” Helen Dunmore
  • “I love the research and I love the writing. If there is one thing I am less keen on, it’s editing. And cutting. I’m really not a fan of cutting.” Kate Williams, writer and historian
  • “Books are not written, they are rewritten.” Michael Crichton
  • “Nothing is wasted if it can be crafted.” Morgen Bailey (although someone may have said that before me :))
  • “You can’t edit a blank page.” a fellow Script Frenzy participant (although someone may have said that before him/her :))
Grammar and Punctuation
  • “I reckon that once a year we should have Apostrophe Amnesty Day. Pu’t them where you li’ke!” Ian Macmillan
  • “I have no time for people who say that punctuation if pointless or elitist. It’s very functional and has served us well.” Lynne Truss
History
  • “When I’m writing I’m gone. I’m absolutely lost in it. The world disappears and I live it. I’m there and I’m involved in it. I’m on a journey with my subject and it’s literally going into the unknown.” Historian Alison Weir
  • “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” Winston Churchill
Ideas
  • “An idea, like a ghost… must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.” Charles Dickens
  • “Do change your mind. Good ideas are often murdered by better ones.” Roddy Doyle
  • “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” Thomas Edison
Love
  • “A woman’s life is not perfect or whole til she has added herself to a husband. Nor is a man’s life perfect or whole til he has added to himself a wife.” Anthony Trollope (1815-1882)
  • “As the world has become more globalised our settings have had to become more exotic, more luxurious and exciting. Where our heroes were once millionaires, now they have to be billionaires.”Clare Somerville, Marketing Director, Mills & Boon
  • ”What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined…to strengthen each other…to be at one with each other in silent unspeakable memories.” George Eliot
  • “You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived, are the moments when you have done things in a spirit of love.” Henry Drummond
  • “Love cannot endure indifference. It needs to be wanted. Like a lamp, it needs to be fed out of the oil of another’s heart, or its flame burns low.” Henry Ward Beecher
  • “There’s a squeamishness in the literary world about love, but love is the great topic. I think it produces fear amongst some people in the industry that if they have to write about their feelings, they’ll confess too much.” Joanna Trollope
  • “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.” Mother Teresa
  • “Treasure the love you receive above all. It will survive long after your good health has vanished.”Og Mandino
  • “The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration.” Pearl S. Buck
  • “For one human being to love another that is perhaps the most difficult of our tasks; the ultimate, the last test and proof; the work for which all other work is but preparation.” Rainer Maria Rilke
  • “I know nothing about sex, because I was always married.” Zsa Zsa Gabor
Money
  • “What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” Bob Dylan
  • “Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.” Jules Renard
  • “Ransom notes are the only lucrative form of writing. Being a writer means flying by the seat of one’s pants so often you should earn frequent flyer points.” Chick lit / humour writer Kathy Lette
  • “The only sensible ends of literature are: first, the pleasurable toil of writing; second, the gratification of one’s family and friends; and lastly, the solid cash.” Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • “Rich people choose to get paid based on results. Poor people choose to get paid based on time.” T. Harv Eker (or writers: to be paid at all? :))
Novels
  • “Women write novels because there is this tremendous desire to expose themselves, with men the motive is often some kind of obscure revenge.” Auberon Waugh
  • “Grab a book, get reading and get the rhythms of somebody else’s words running through your head like a marching band. The drumbeat of another story, another life, another cast of characters, another sky.” Sophie Heawood, The Independent.
  • “The more you write, the greater the scope the dedications. Agatha Christie dedicated first to her mother, then “To those who lead monotonous lives”, and was off with dedications to all sorts, including friends “with apologies for using their swimming pool as the scene of a murder.” Indeed, some authors say deciding on the dedication is harder than writing the book.” Lizzie Enfield, The Sunday Telegraph
  • “The novel tends to tell us everything, whereas the short story tells us only one thing; and that intensely.” VS Pritchett
Poetry
  • “Poetry justifies celebrity. It’s good to have respect for a poet.” St Lucia poet Derek Walcott, Nobel Prize and TS Eliot prize winner
  • “TS Eliot was a banker, remember. A few more poets in the City would do no harm.” Howard Jacobson
  • “I’m a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can’t and then tries the short story which is the most demanding form after poetry. And failing at that, only then does he take up novel writing.” William Faulkner (that’s pretty much how I started although I wrote short stories then poetry alongside it before starting the novels)
Pseudonyms
  • “I recently published a book called ‘Memoirs of a Master Forger’ under the pseudonym William Heaney. I told my family that whereas I was easy-going, William Heaney didn’t like to be disturbed. It sort of worked. Oddly.” Fantasy and horror author Graham Joyce
Reading
  • “The giving of a book is unlike the giving of an ordinary gift: it is a gift of the ideas that the book contains as much as it is the gift of a physical object. It says, implicitly, ‘share this with me’.” Alexander McCall Smith
  • “When I want to read a novel, I write one.” Benjamin Disraeli
  • “A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.” Chinese proverb
  • “Books have to be heavy because the whole world’s inside them.” Cornelia Funke
  • “Reading is the work of the alert mind, is demanding, and under ideal conditions produces a sort of ecstasy. As in the sexual experience, there are never more than two persons present in the act of reading; the writer, who is the impregnator, and the reader, who is the respondent.” E B White
  • “To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” Edmund Burke
  • “As a reader, I want a book to kidnap me into its world. Its world must make my so-called real world seem flimsy. Its world must lure me to return. When I close the book, I should feel bereft.” Erica Jong (The Writer’s Handbook 1997)
  • “Trust your reader. Not everything needs to be explained. If you really know something, and breathe life into it, they’ll know it too.” Esther Freud
  • “Outside of a dog, a man’s best friend is a book because inside it’s too dark to read” Groucho Mark
  • “In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… Self-discipline with all of them came first.” Harry Truman
  • “When I am dead I hope it maybe said ‘His sins were scarlet but his books were read.” Hilare Belloc
  • “Very fat novels are for bad weather and snow-storms; the worse the weather, the fatter the novel.” Karel Čapek. Interestingly according to Wikipedia, Karel credited his brother, Josef Čapek, as the true inventor of the word robot!
  • “Hold the reader’s attention. (This is likely to work better if you can hold your own) But you don’t know who the reader is, so it’s like shooting fish with a slingshot in the dark. What fascinates A will bore the pants off B.” Margaret Atwood
  • “I like a thin book because it will steady a table, a leather volume because it will strop a razor, and a heavy book because it can be thrown at a cat.” Mark Twain (don’t try that at home, folks!)
  • “The writer and reader have to go hand-in-hand; just walk alongside them not pull them quicker than they want to go – they want to enjoy the ride.” me :)
  • “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Richard Steele
  • “What is written without effort is generally read without pleasure.” Samuel Johnson
  • “Paradise Lost is a book that, once put down, is very hard to pick up again.” Samuel Johnson
  • “I like reading books about mountaineering while I’m lying down.” Will Self
  • “A book once read becomes part of us.” Yann Martel
Rejection
  • “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” Thomas Edison
  • “Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.” Victor Kiam
Reviews
  • “A bad review is even less important than whether it is raining in Patagonia.” Iris Murdoch
  • “If you’re a nobody, it’s better to have your book attacked than ignored. Over time readers will forget the mean stuff said about you, and will only remember your book’s name.” Moby Lives website
Scriptwriting
  • “The structure of a play is always the story of how the birds came home to roost.” Arthur Miller (Harper’s Magazine August 1958).
  • “Radio drama is the most intimate relationship a writer can have with their audience, and has one of the largest budgets in that it can create anything that you can imagine. As has been said before – the pictures are better on radio. There’s nothing you can’t do and nowhere you can’t go.” BBC Writersroom
  • “I think people see inspiration as the ignition that starts the process. In fact, real moments often come at the last minute, when you’ve sweated and fretted your way through a couple of draft. Suddenly you start to see fresh connections, new ways of doing things.” Frank Cottrell Boyce on screenwriting.
  • Could any of your stories be converted into a film? Michael Saler of the Times Literary Supplement said “Genre films and books are no longer a minority interest. They top the bestseller lists and popularity polls: we are all geeks now. The establishment’s disdain for genre, and the populists’ suspicion of experimental techniques, are largely a thing of the past.”
  • “The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” Moliere, Playwright
  • “90% of writing is deciding what not to write. Keep it simple. Focus.” Paul Mayhew Archer, sitcom writer
  • “At least one of my children did one of my plays at A-level. I think he got a ‘B’ with my help.” Playwright Tom Stoppard.
  • One of my fellow Script Frenzy writers April 2010 wrote in an email (although I’ve toned it down for this page) “For me, a page full of rubbish is better than a blank page. Rubbish can be rewritten, a blank page can’t.” So true.
Short stories
  • “A good short story would take me out of myself and then stuff me back in, outsized, now, and uneasy with the fit.” American humorist David Sedaris 
  • “The novel tends to tell us everything, whereas the short story tells us only one thing; and that intensely.” VS Pritchett
Success
  • “Don’t let go of your dreams. If you have determination and belief in your dreams, you will succeed in spite of your desire to let go.” Catherine Pulsifer
  • “Success seems to be connected to action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” Conrad Hilton
  • “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” Dale Carnegie
  • “If you have the courage to begin you have the courage to succeed.” David Viscott (get your backside in the chair and get writing!)
  • “People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” Earl Nightingale“It’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” Mario Andretti, Race Car Driver”I have failed over and over again – that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan (apparently horror writer Dean Koontz had 75 rejections before an acceptance)
  • “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” Paulo Coelho
  • “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.” Robert Collier (in other words if you write a few words each day you’ll have a short story in no time and a novel in… a bit longer)
  • “Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” Tony Robbins
  • “If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.” Tony Robbins (in other words, read and note how they write without using the wording)
  • “You’re on the road to success when you realise that failure is merely a detour.” William G Milnes Jr
  • “The successful man is the average man, focused.” author unknown
  • “You can fail so very often. But you are not a failure until you give up.” author unknown
Writer’s block
  • “If I ever get writer’s block, there are two words I whisper to myself: “royalty cheque”. And then the clouds clear, the sun comes out.” Mary Higgins Clark
Other writing-related
  • There are seven basic ingredients in any romance story: Heroine, Hero, Conflict, ‘Getting to know you’, Lowest point (black moment), Resolution, Happy ending.
  • “The fact is it is wrong for publishers and agents to get authors to pay for their services. You either believe you can make money for – and out of – an author or you don’t.” ‘Agent Orange’ a British literary agent blogging on The Bookseller website
  • “Write. No amount of self-inflicted misery, altered states, black pullovers or being publicly obnoxious will ever add up to your being a writer. Writers write. On you go.” AL Kennedy
  • “Storytelling will never die; it’s too important to the human condition.” Amanda Foreman, biographer
  • “Write whatever way you like. Fiction is made of words on a page; reality is made of something else. It doesn’t matter how “real” your story if, or how “made up”: what matters is necessity.” Anne Enright
  • “There are five main ways of showing appearance: static description, dialogue, emotional reaction, thoughts, action.” Barbara Dynes, Writers’ Forum #114
  • “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” E L Doctorow
  • “Writing is the hardest work in the world. I have been a bricklayer and a truck driver, and I tell you – as if you haven’t been told a million times already – that writing is harder. Lonelier. And nobler and more enriching.” Harlan Ellison
  • “A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.” Henrik Ibsen
  • “I write for the same reason I breathe … because if I didn’t, I would die.” Isaac Asimov
  • “I find myself working until 4am – so that I have time when the phones aren’t ringing and there are no emails, or builders asking me what shape roof I want.” Jasper Fforde
  • “My wife understands that sitting in my office and staring into space is actually work.” Jasper Fforde
  • “The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature, to those who really like to study people, is that in fiction the author can really tell the truth without humiliating himself.” Jim Rohn
  • “In nearly all good fiction, the basic – all but inescapable – plot form is: A central character wants something, goes after it despite opposition (perhaps including his own doubts), and so arrives at a win, lose, or draw.” John Gardner (on becoming a novelist 1983)
  • “Fiction that isn’t an author’s personal adventure into the frightening or the unknown isn’t worth writing for anything but money.” Jonathan Franzen
  • “Smothering an intro in a ketchup of adjectives does little to improve its flavour.” Keith Waterhouse
  • ‘Keep a notebook and someday it will keep you’. Mae West
  • “I always knew I wanted to be a writer, though I didn’t really know what a writer was. I don’t remember a time without that urge.” Maggie O’Farrell
  • “Everyone thinks that writers must know more about the inside of a human head, but that is wrong. They know less, that’s why they write: trying to find out what everyone else takes for granted.” Margaret Atwood
  • “A ratio of failures is built into the process of writing. The wastebasked has evolved for a reason.” Margaret Atwood
  • “When it’s dark and I’m staring out at nothing and the house is quiet, that tends to be when I get the most productive work done.” Crime writer Mark Billingham
  • “Those of us who become successful writers are as compelled to write as someone who might be to brush their teeth or shower if they haven’t done either for two month. You have to have a compulsion, not just talent.” Mary Higgins Clark
  • “Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.” Neil Gaiman
  • “Listen: I think writing comes out of a certain sense of loneliness, a sense of isolation.” Paul Auster
  • “People talk about the pain of writing, but very few people talk about the pleasure and satisfaction.” Paul Theroux
  • “Never begin the book when you feel you want to begin it, but hold off a while longer.” Rose Tremain
  • “Don’t overwrite. Avoid the redundant phrases, the distracting adjectives, the unnecessary adverbs. Beginners especially seem to think that writing fiction needs a special kind of flowery prose.” Sarah Waters
  • “One advantage of sitting on your bottom by yourself all day (that is, being a writer) is that going absolutely anywhere is exciting. Even a trip to the recycling centre is a thrill.” Wendy Holden
  • “Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.” Will Self
  • A recipe for success: characters, motivation, dialogue, emotion, synopsis and plot, beginning, middle, ending, pace, readability. Writing Magazine
Various and other motivational
  • “Time is life. It is irreversible and irreplaceable. To waste your time is to waste your life, but to master your time is to master your life and make the most of it.” Alan Lakein I’ve cut back on the TV I watch, right back actually and it helps… I’ve even de-series linked/deleted Neighbours and Home & Away.
  • “Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open.”Alexander Graham Bell, Inventor
  • “The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” Anna Quindlen
  • “Evil is always possible. And goodness is eternally difficult.” Anne Rice
  • “Problems exist only in the human mind.” Anthony de Mello
  • “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe, Tennis Player
  • “Life is not the amount of breaths you take, it’s the moments that take your breath away.” Arthur C Clarke
  • “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Benjamin Franklin
  • “Set your goals high, and don’t stop ‘till you get there.” Bo Jackson
  • “Do not fear going forward slowly; fear only to stand still.” Chinese Proverb
  • “Difficulties in life are intended to make us better not bitter.” Dan Reeves, Football Coach
  • “Discipline is remembering what you want.” David Campbell
  • “Life is short, life is good. Don’t let nothing today, stop life from achievement.” Deatra Talbert
  • “If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” Dolly Parton
  • “If my hands are fully occupied in holding on to something, I can neither give nor receive.” Dorothee Solle (if you think too much about a rejection you can’t concentrate on what really matters)
  • “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” E.E. Cummings
  • “We must do that which we think we cannot.” Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady
  • “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along’. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt, Former First Lady
  • “I can’t do it” never yet accomplished anything; “I will try” has performed wonders. George P. Burnham
  • “You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.”George Lorimer
  • “I think there’s a great beauty to having problems. That’s one of the ways we learn.” Herbie Hancock, musician
  • “The only people who can change the world are people who want to. And not everybody does.” Hugh Macleod
  • “If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulder of giants.” Isaac Newton, scientist
  • “You see, you don’t get old from age, you get old from inactivity, from not believing in something.”Jack LaLanne
  • “Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.” James Michener
  • “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” Jesse Owens, Olympic Athlete
  • “We can have more than we’ve got because we can become more than we are.” Jim Rohn
  • “Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “It’s not what you accomplish in life that matters, it’s what you overcome.” Johnny Miller (rejections)
  • “To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.” Kahlil Gibran
  • “Try to make at least one person happy every day. If you cannot do a kind deed, speak a kind word. If you cannot speak a kind word, think a kind thought. Count up, if you can, the treasure of happiness that you would dispense in a week, in a year, in a lifetime!” Lawrence G. Lovasik (in other words write 500 words a day and you’ll have 182,500 words in a standard year or 183,000 in a leap year!)
  • “Change. It has the power to uplift, to heal, to stimulate, surprise, open new doors, bring fresh experience and create excitement in life. Certainly it is worth the risk.” Leo Buscaglia
  • “We are continually faced with great opportunities which are brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.” Margaret Mead
  • “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” Mark Twain
  • “A joyful life is an individual creation that cannot be copied from a recipe.” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • “Step number one for changing the entire world, is falling in love with it as it already is. The same is true for changing yourself.” Mike Dooley
  • “The only way to get what you really want, is to know what you really want. And the only way to know what you really want, is to know yourself. And the only way to know yourself, is to be yourself. And the only way to be yourself is to listen to your heart.” Mike Dooley
  • “Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.” Mortimer Caplan
  • “Victory belongs to the most persevering.” Napoleon Bonaparte
  • “Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you ready or not, to put this plan into action.” Napoleon Hill
  • “A moment of anger, sadness or joy is short lived; it comes and goes, but when it is captured in a painting, it becomes immortalized and outlives the human race.” Nataly Hachem
  • “Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.”Nicholas M. Butler, American Philosopher
  • “Don’t just plan to write – write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop out own style.” PD James
  • “You have a solemn obligation to take care of yourself, because you never know when the World will need you.” Rabbi Hillel
  • “Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality” Ralph Marston
  • “Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.” Robert Heinlein, American Novelist
  • “Keep your fears to yourself, but share your inspiration with others.” Robert Louis Stevenson, writer
  • “Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.” Robert H. Schuller
  • “The best way to write better is to write more.” Simon Heffer
  • “I can change. I can live out my imagination instead of my memory. I can tie myself to my limitless potential instead of my limiting past.” Stephen Covey
  • “We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.” Stevie Wonder
  • “Do what you can with what you have where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt
  • “Minds are like parachutes – they only function when open.” Thomas Dewar
  • “If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” Thomas A. Edison; yes, the light inventor and author of The Liver Complaint as I found out as a guest panellist on Radio Litopia a while back when I had to sell it to the other panellists – my pitch was: ‘The Liver Complaint: Being a renowned American Inventor you would expect for Mr Edison to have written about an intellectual subject and you will not be disappointed. Kidneys. Whilst they have to fight for space with the steak, underneath a lovely pastry crust, it’s the liver that gets the raw deal. Much maligned for it’s lacklustre image, this is the opportunity for the lowly liver to fight back and put it’s case before the general public.’ I came second which sounds more impressive than it was as I was actually last because the other panelists all got the same scores, from memory one point more than me, but it was more the taking part; it was hilarious.
  • “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.” Thomas Edison
  • “Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.” Thomas Jefferson
  • “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” Thomas Jefferson
  • “The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.” Dr. Wayne W. Dyer oh dear
  • “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” Wayne Gretzky, Hockey Great 
(so get submitting!)
  • “The secret of greatness is simple: do better work than any other man in your field – and keep on doing it.” Wilfred A. Peterson
  • “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” William James
  • “Far too many people have no idea of what they can do because all they have been told is what they can’t do. They don’t know what they want because they don’t know what’s available for them.” Zig Ziglar
  • “Always concentrate on how far you have come, rather than how far you have left to go.” author unknown
  • “Be ready when opportunity comes. Luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet.” author unknown
  • “Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere.” author unknown (you could replace ‘worrying’ with ‘not submitting’, although many writers do just write for pleasure, which saves them the disappointment of rejection but also the thrill of acceptance!)
  • “Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” author unknown (I wrote about a parrot in novel no. 3!)

and two of my favourites…

  • “I love deadlines; the sound as they woosh by.” Douglas Adams 
  • “There is sex in the Discworld books, but it usually takes place two pages after the ending.” Terry Pratchett

I include these in the fortnightly handouts to my writing group so shall be adding them here regularly. :)

Another site for quotes is www.brainyquote.com is packed with quotes.

 

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