What Are Your Favorite Quotes?

The writer is… an athlete required to break the four-minute mile every morning.
— Irving Stone

Replace writer with blogger and you have a good description of what the job of blogging is.

I’ve been collecting quotes since I was very young. One of my favorite books is the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, which just celebrated it’s Diamond Jubilee. I don’t know when the old rusty red edition found its way into my hands as a child, but I was totally taken with the never-ending collection of wise and whimsical things people said for every occasion. I wanted to talk like they did, combining words in such a way to make a powerful punch when provoked.

Maybe that was my first introduction and training into press release, editorial, and technical writing?

From time to time I start or include appropriate quotes to my blog posts, as the words of others often introduce or summarize the topic at hand better than I can. It’s also a way of sharing my love of quotations with others, after all, the power of the quote is that it is quoted – and shared.

A friend sent me a collection of fabulous insult quotes today that made me wish I’d said them in response to many a blog comment or post – that artful slice and dice with words that confuses the less witty with repartee. Here are a few of the prize winners to me:

He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.
William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.
Oscar Wilde

I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.
Stephen Bishop

He is a self-made man and worships his creator.
John Bright

He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.
Samuel Johnson

He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.
Paul Keating

He had delusions of adequacy.
Walter Kerr

Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?
Mark Twain

His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.
Mae West

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.
Oscar Wilde

Don’t you wish you’d had one of those on hand when the moment to serve a good slap and run with words arrived?

My favorite quotes are about writing such as:

Work every day – no matter what has happened the day or night before. Stop when you’re writing well. Then you’ll never get stuck.
– Ernest Hemingway

A few quotes have made their way to walls around my desk area over the years, inspiring me and keeping me focused on my writing and work. I’m sure you have a few stuck up in places to kick your creativity in the butt, too.

What are some of your favorite quotes that help you through the day, your blog, your work, and your life? Any personal favorites?

Here is my all-time favorite quote, which I wrote this weekend on the wall of a restaurant bathroom in Vernonia, Oregon, called the Blue House Café. Don’t worry, I wasn’t vandalizing. They provide the pens, you provide the words, and the bathroom is one of the most entertaining dining (and sitting) reading experiences of your life.

Everyone was born with two ends. One is used for sitting. The other for thinking. Success in life depends upon which one you use the most.

Heads you win. Tails you lose.

What’s yours?

Comments

  1. says

    “The optimist says the glass is half-full. The pessimist says the glass is half-empty. I say the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.”

    I’ll claim authorship of that one, although I’m sure that someone somewhere has beat me to it.

  2. says

    @Robert, I’ve seen that before in a “quotes for engineers” roundup. Mine are:

    Half empty or half full? Are you sure this is my glass??!!??

    You are so much more than what is happening to you. (Jackie Stanley)

    You don’t have to *like* it. You DO have to deal with it. (Me, to my teen.)

    We the willing
    led by the unknowing
    are doing the impossible
    for the ungrateful.
    We have done so much
    for so long
    with so little
    that we are now qualified
    to do anything
    with nothing.

    (I usually lead this “Pledge of The Worker Drone” in the style of the Pledge of Allegiance – complete with making my co-workers putting their hands over their hearts.)

  3. says

    Following on the theme from Brad’s quote above, I’ll prove myself a fool by saying I like:

    “Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes, well, he eats you”

    by The Stranger in The Big Lebowski.

  4. Calli says

    To Robert:
    “Optimists say the glass is half full, Pessimists say the glass is half empty, I’m just happy to have a glass.”
    My Favorite:
    “Hopless romantics are just hopeless in the eyes of those who don’t believe in romance.”

  5. says

    On your Facebook profile
    If you like we‘ll even automatically update your status on facebook so your friends can see what TV show your watching at the moment or about to watch later on.

  6. Perry says

    How about Abraham Lincoln –

    “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

    Or How about Solomon

    Proverbs 17:28 Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent,
    and discerning if he holds his tongue. (NIV)

    Proverbs 17:28 Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent;
    with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent. (NLT)

    Proverbs 17:28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. (KJV)

    Proverbs 17:28 Even a fool keeping silence is reckoned wise, He who is shutting his lips intelligent! (YLT)

  7. caitlin says

    I have a few only I dont know who wrote them

    1. Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass it’s about getting out there and dancing in the rain.

    2. Never take life too seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway (Anonymous)

    and the last………………..

    3. Time is free but it is priceless,
    You can’t own it but you can use it,
    You can’t keep it but you can spend it,
    Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back. (Harvey MacKay I think)

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