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.
I think she was afraid to love sometimes. I think it scared her. She was the type to like things that are concrete, like the ocean. Something you could point to and know what it was… And I think that’s why she struggled with love. She couldn’t touch it. She couldn’t hold on to it and make sure it never changed.
Thou shalt not just think about writing. Seriously. That is not writing. The worst unpublished novel of all-time is better than the brilliant idea you have in your head. Why? Because the worst novel ever is written down. That means it’s a book, while your idea is just an idle fancy.
- Patrick Rothfuss, NaNoWriMo Pep Talk
It is hard to stop loving the ocean, even after it has left you gasping, salty. So forgive yourself for the decisions you’ve made, the ones you still call mistakes when you tuck them in at night and know this: know that you are the type of woman who is searching for a place to call yours.
- Sarah Kay, The Type
A written word is the choicest of relics. It is something at once more intimate with us and more universal than any other work of art. It is the work of art nearest to life itself. It may be translated into every language, and not only be read but actually breathed from all human lips; — not be represented on canvas or in marble only, but be carved out of the breath of life itself.
Henry David Thoreau, Waldenhenry david thoreau walden
If you’re only going to write when you’re inspired, you may be a fairly decent poet, but you will never be a novelist — because you’re going to have to make your word count today, and those words aren’t going to wait for you, whether you’re inspired or not. So you have to write when you’re not “inspired.” … And the weird thing is that six months later, or a year later, you’re going to look back and you’re not going to remember which scenes you wrote when you were inspired and which scenes you wrote because they had to be written.
- Neil Gaiman
Yes, I’ve seen the works of a great civilization; I’ve seen your skyscrapers, your subways, and your Internet cafés, but why have I yet to meet any of your civilized persons? I only encounter specialists, artists who know nothing of science, scientists who know nothing of art, philosophers who have no interest in God … and politicians who only know other politicians.
- W.H. Auden on what an ancient Athenian would say while being led through NY today
We will discover the nature of our particular genius when we stop trying to conform to our own and other’s people’s models, learn to be ourselves and allow our natural channel to open.
It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own. - Conan Doyle
To begin with, the findings of science entail that the belief systems of all the world’s traditional religions and cultures—their theories of the origins of life, humans, and societies—are factually mistaken. We know, but our ancestors did not, that humans belong to a single species of African primate that developed agriculture, government, and writing late in its history. We know that our species is a tiny twig of a genealogical tree that embraces all living things and that emerged from prebiotic chemicals almost four billion years ago. We know that we live on a planet that revolves around one of a hundred billion stars in our galaxy, which is one of a hundred billion galaxies in a 13.8-billion-year-old universe, possibly one of a vast number of universes. We know that our intuitions about space, time, matter, and causation are incommensurable with the nature of reality on scales that are very large and very small. We know that the laws governing the physical world (including accidents, disease, and other misfortunes) have no goals that pertain to human well-being. There is no such thing as fate, providence, karma, spells, curses, augury, divine retribution, or answered prayers—though the discrepancy between the laws of probability and the workings of cognition may explain why people believe there are. And we know that we did not always know these things, that the beloved convictions of every time and culture may be decisively falsified, doubtless including some we hold today.science star galaxy space beauty
My mind will answer most questions if I learn to relax and wait for the answer.
What is good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the window, if they do not enter into your daily lives?
Science and religion no more contradict each other than light and electricity.