Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Some quotes that keep me working, or help me to look at my work in a new way:

"When you write don't think, listen." -Madeleine L'Engle

"Nobody ever gets what they want and that is beautiful. Everyone dies frustrated and sad and that is beautiful." -They Might Be Giants
(This one I stole from Linda, she sent it to me several years ago and it hangs on the bulletin board next to my desk)

"I was tracking something very slippery, very elusive, and had to use every sense I had to stay on the trail - other people were distracting. Later, I discovered what I was hunting was my own spirit." - Ana Forrest

What are some of yours?


alvinaling said...

My mom always said, "If it is to be, it is up to me" when I was growing up. I have no idea where that's from, but it's ingrained in me.

Anonymous said...

In my studio I have, "Life is not about finding yourself, it is about Creating yourself." : )



Anna Alter said...

Those are great!

I also like:

"The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it."

Libby Koponen said...

One of my father's was: "A winner never quits and a quitter never wins."

Not sure that's always good advice, but I think it is true about writing--though recently I've come to think that some projects ARE best abandoned.

Advice from the world of riding, especially jumping, often comes to mind. A fence can look REALLY big when your horse is just about to go over it...one saying for that is: "Throw your heart over first and the rest will follow." I used to have a riding teacher who would scream during lessons,
"Don't be a stupid lady on a horse [a common type], do SOMETHING, even if it's the wrong thing!" In calmer moments, she'd also say: "When you're approaching a fence, you have to be so determined to go over it that if a truck got in your way you'd still jump it."

But my favorite riding one isn't a saying at all but a feeling -- the feeling of junping a course (a series of jumps in a big grassy field) when it's going well. You're calm (but full of energy and adrenaline), concentrating and, as you go over one fence, looking at the next.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorites sayings is: "What the heart knows today...the head knows tomorrow."
I guess you can look at it as meaning intuition and the way we feel about things isn't just about guessing. There is something MORE to a "gut feeling." Something that you may not be able to intellectualize--but you don't need a study or research to know it's right, to know it's true. I like to think of it as a mixture of common sense, good judgment, and having a caring nature.
I never would have been able to survive as a teacher for more than three decades if I didn't follow my heart.

Here is a Polish saying I often heard my mother express when she was frustrated in her dealings with particular individuals: "You talk to a hill, but a hill is a hill." (It sounds much better in Polish.) There's just no point in talking to some people! I should have had listened to my mother. I just kept talking to no avail before I learned the truth of this adage.

Stephanie Roth Sisson said...

I don't think this quote comes under the "inspirational heading", but it's the one I think of when I'm a bit overwhelmed, or just don't know what to do. It's from Alica in Wonderland, "'Begin at the beginning,' said the King,'then go intil you reach the end. Then stop."....

Anonymous said...


I like the one your mom ingrained in you much better than the one my mom ingrained in me... "I" before "E" except after "C".
Can I use yours too?!

OK, I have two:

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

"Oh, the places you'll go!"