Writing Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Writing. Here they are! All 100 of them:

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Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
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Martin Luther King Jr. (A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches)
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If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.
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Toni Morrison
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There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
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Ernest Hemingway
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Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.
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Groucho Marx (The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx)
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You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.
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Madeleine L'Engle
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I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.
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Douglas Adams (The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time)
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There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
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Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
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If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.
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Stephen King
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We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
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AnaΓ―s Nin
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Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very;' your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.
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Mark Twain
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Books are a uniquely portable magic.
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Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
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What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.
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J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
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Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all could.
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Charles J. Sykes (Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can't Read, Write or Add)
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And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
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Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
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You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.
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Saul Bellow
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Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
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Benjamin Franklin
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No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.
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Robert Frost
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May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
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Neil Gaiman
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How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
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Anne Frank (Anne Frank's Tales from the Secret Annex: A Collection of Her Short Stories, Fables, and Lesser-Known Writings)
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You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
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Ray Bradbury (Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You)
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Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.
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Virginia Woolf (A Room of One’s Own)
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Show me a hero, and I'll write you a tragedy.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald
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You do not write your life with words...You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.
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Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls)
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Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.
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William Faulkner
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Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.
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E.L. Doctorow
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Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.
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Louis L'Amour
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How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
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Henry David Thoreau
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History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.
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Winston S. Churchill
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Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky, We fell them down and turn them into paper, That we may record our emptiness.
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Kahlil Gibran
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The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger--but recognize the opportunity.
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John F. Kennedy
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One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.
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Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums)
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All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.
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Ernest Hemingway
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Tonight I can write the saddest lines I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.
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Pablo Neruda (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)
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I have decided to stick to love...Hate is too great a burden to bear.
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Martin Luther King Jr. (A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches)
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Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
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Martin Luther King Jr. (I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World)
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If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.
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Stephen King
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I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.
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Anne Frank
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Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it.
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Lloyd Alexander
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Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people. … The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.
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Stephen King
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There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
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W. Somerset Maugham
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If you don't like someone's story, write your own.
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Chinua Achebe
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I am too fond of reading books to care to write them.
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Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
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I loved you like a man loves a woman he never touches, only writes to, keeps little photographs of.
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Charles Bukowski (Love Is a Dog from Hell)
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A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
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Thomas Mann (Essays of Three Decades)
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Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.
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Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
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There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you.
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Beatrix Potter
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There is only one page left to write on. I will fill it with words of only one syllable. I love. I have loved. I will love.
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Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
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Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
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I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.
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Ray Bradbury (Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You)
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Tears are words that need to be written.
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Paulo Coelho
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The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.
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Mark Twain (The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain: A Book of Quotations)
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Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.
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Neil Gaiman
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Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.
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Virginia Woolf
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You can make anything by writing.
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C.S. Lewis
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Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
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Anton Chekhov
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Fiction is the truth inside the lie.
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Stephen King
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Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it's always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.
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Neil Gaiman
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The road to hell is paved with adverbs.
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Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
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I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.
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Robert Louis Stevenson (Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson)
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I write differently from what I speak, I speak differently from what I think, I think differently from the way I ought to think, and so it all proceeds into deepest darkness.
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Franz Kafka
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I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I'm afraid of.
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Joss Whedon
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Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly – they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.
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Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
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The scariest moment is always just before you start.
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Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
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You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.
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Annie Proulx
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There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.
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Martin Luther King Jr. (A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches)
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There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.
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Frank Herbert
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Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.
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Franz Kafka
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After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.
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Philip Pullman
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We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young)
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Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.
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Neil Gaiman
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You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.
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Malcolm X (By Any Means Necessary (Malcolm X Speeches and Writings) (Malcolm X Speeches & Writings))
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The first draft of anything is shit.
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Ernest Hemingway
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Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts.
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Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
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you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.
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Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
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You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.
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Ray Bradbury
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let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences
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Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
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There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.
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Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist)
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They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
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Benjamin Franklin (Memoirs of the life & writings of Benjamin Franklin)
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Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
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William Wordsworth
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A word after a word after a word is power.
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Margaret Atwood
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She refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn't boring.
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Zelda Fitzgerald (The Collected Writings)
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Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected.
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Charles Lamb (The life, letters and writings of Charles Lamb Volume 3)
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I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life. I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish… You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then when I do not succeed I get mad with anger.
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Simone de Beauvoir
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If you want to really hurt you parents, and you don't have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
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We live and breathe words. .... It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world, its colors and textures and sounds, I felt--I felt the way you thought, hoped, felt, dreamt. I felt I was dreaming and thinking and feeling with you. I dreamed what you dreamed, wanted what you wanted--and then I realized that truly I just wanted you.
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Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
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Always be a poet, even in prose.
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Charles Baudelaire
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This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It's that easy, and that hard.
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Neil Gaiman
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A well-composed book is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter in any other way.
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Caroline Gordon
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You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
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Jack London
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Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got.
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Philip JosΓ© Farmer
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Women want love to be a novel. Men, a short story.
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Daphne du Maurier
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In time, the hurt began to fade and it was easier to just let it go. At least I thought it was. But in every boy I met in the next few years, I found myself looking for you, and when the feelings got too strong, I'd write you another letter. But I never sent them for fear of what I might find. By then, you'd gone on with your life and I didn't want to think about you loving someone else. I wanted to remember us like we were that summer. I didn't ever want to lose that.
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Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook (The Notebook, #1))
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I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we're reading doesn't wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.
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Franz Kafka
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You should date a girl who reads. Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve. Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn. She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book. Buy her another cup of coffee. Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice. It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does. She has to give it a shot somehow. Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world. Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two. Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series. If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are. You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype. You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots. Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads. Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
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Rosemarie Urquico
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The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.
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Stephen King
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I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W. I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never.
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Jane Austen (Persuasion)
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Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines he wrote a poem And he called it "Chops" because that was the name of his dog And that's what it was all about And his teacher gave him an A and a gold star And his mother hung it on the kitchen door and read it to his aunts That was the year Father Tracy took all the kids to the zoo And he let them sing on the bus And his little sister was born with tiny toenails and no hair And his mother and father kissed a lot And the girl around the corner sent him a Valentine signed with a row of X's and he had to ask his father what the X's meant And his father always tucked him in bed at night And was always there to do it Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines he wrote a poem And he called it "Autumn" because that was the name of the season And that's what it was all about And his teacher gave him an A and asked him to write more clearly And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door because of its new paint And the kids told him that Father Tracy smoked cigars And left butts on the pews And sometimes they would burn holes That was the year his sister got glasses with thick lenses and black frames And the girl around the corner laughed when he asked her to go see Santa Claus And the kids told him why his mother and father kissed a lot And his father never tucked him in bed at night And his father got mad when he cried for him to do it. Once on a paper torn from his notebook he wrote a poem And he called it "Innocence: A Question" because that was the question about his girl And that's what it was all about And his professor gave him an A and a strange steady look And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door because he never showed her That was the year that Father Tracy died And he forgot how the end of the Apostle's Creed went And he caught his sister making out on the back porch And his mother and father never kissed or even talked And the girl around the corner wore too much makeup That made him cough when he kissed her but he kissed her anyway because that was the thing to do And at three a.m. he tucked himself into bed his father snoring soundly That's why on the back of a brown paper bag he tried another poem And he called it "Absolutely Nothing" Because that's what it was really all about And he gave himself an A and a slash on each damned wrist And he hung it on the bathroom door because this time he didn't think he could reach the kitchen.
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Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
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Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita. Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, an initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.
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Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
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The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete... Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent. Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
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Bob Moorehead (Words Aptly Spoken)
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Clary, Despite everything, I can't bear the thought of this ring being lost forever, any more then I can bear the thought of leaving you forever. And though I have no choice about the one, at least I can choose about the other. I'm leaving you our family ring because you have as much right to it as I do. I'm writing this watching the sun come up. You're asleep, dreams moving behind your restless eyelids. I wish I knew what you were thinking. I wish I could slip into your head and see the world the way you do. I wish I could see myself the way you do. But maybe I dont want to see that. Maybe it would make me feel even more than I already do that I'm perpetuating some kind of Great Lie on you, and I couldn't stand that. I belong to you. You could do anything you wanted with me and I would let you. You could ask anything of me and I'd break myself trying to make you happy. My heart tells me this is the best and greatest feeling I have ever had. But my mind knows the difference between wanting what you can't have and wanting what you shouldn't want. And I shouldn't want you. All night I've watched you sleeping, watched the moonlight come and go, casting its shadows across your face in black and white. I've never seen anything more beautiful. I think of the life we could have had if things were different, a life where this night is not a singular event, separate from everything else that's real, but every night. But things aren't different, and I can't look at you without feeling like I've tricked you into loving me. The truth no one is willing to say out loud is that no one has a shot against Valentine but me. I can get close to him like no one else can. I can pretend I want to join him and he'll believe me, up until that last moment where I end it all, one way or another. I have something of Sebastian's; I can track him to where my father's hiding, and that's what I'm going to do. So I lied to you last night. I said I just wanted one night with you. But I want every night with you. And that's why I have to slip out of your window now, like a coward. Because if I had to tell you this to your face, I couldn't make myself go. I don't blame you if you hate me, I wish you would. As long as I can still dream, I will dream of you. _Jace
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Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))