These are the words I’ve got scrawled on sticky notes on my bedroom wall, propped up around my desk at work and (in some cases) committed to memory, all on standby for the times when I forget why all this clicking and scrawling and immersion in words is worthwhile. I thought they  might inspire you as well.

“The first problem of style is how to make dead things come alive. By dead things, I mean words, which neither move, nor breathe, nor weep, nor lust, nor love. Writing well means raising the dead.” –Douglas Glover


“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” –Vincent Van Gogh

“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.” –Madeleine L’Engle

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” –Ray Bradbury

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

“I don’t wish to touch hearts. I don’t even want to affect minds much. What I want to produce is that little sob in the spine of the artist-reader.” –Vladimir Nabokov

“Bad things don’t happen to writers; it’s all material.” –Garrison Keillor

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of the everyday life.” –Pablo Picasso

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” –Phillip Pullman

“The idea is to write so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.” –Maya Angelou

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” –Thoreau 

“Write hard and clear about what hurts.” –Ernest Hemingway

“We write to taste life twice, once in the moment and once in retrospect.” –Anais Nin

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” –Albert Einstein

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” –Andy Warhol

“A word after a word after a word is power.” –Margaret Atwood

“Be so good they can’t ignore you.” –Steve Martin

“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.” –Ray Bradbury