You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.
We can do this the hard way, or . . . actually, there’s just the hard way.
—Buffy the Vampire Slayer
It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
Whoever called it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.
I am not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.
—Louisa May Alcott
In the long run, we only hit what we aim at.
—Henry David Thoreau
The stream and the broken pottery: what was any art but an effort to make a sheath, a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining, elusive element which is life itself,—life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose?
—Willa Cather, “The Song of the Lark”
Hat-check girl: Goodness! What diamonds!
Maudie Triplett (Mae West): Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.
—Night after Night (1932)
Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back; a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
If I just work when the spirit moves me, the spirit will ignore me.
Sure, it’s simple, writing for kids . . . Just as simple as bringing them up.
—Ursula K. LeGuin
There are thousands of thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up the pen and writes.
—William Makepeace Thackeray
Words are sounds of the heart.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
Sometimes I think I write to throw away; it’s a process of distillation.
Regardless of the medium, rewriting and more rewriting is still necessary. No one gets anything right the first time, and since I don’t write with a hammer and chisel, it’s relatively easy for me to change. It’s just words on paper. Words are free. You don’t go to the store and order a pound of words, or five hundred words, and pay your three dollars. They’re free.
The play was a great success but the audience was a disaster.
My first thought about art, as a child, was that the artist brings something into the world that didn’t exist before, and that he does it without destroying something else . . . That still seems to me its central magic, its core of joy.
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
—T. S. Eliot (from Doris E. Wright)