the·right·words.
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
‘Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.’
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person.
 F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Love of the Last Tycoon
It is an impressively arrogant move to conclude that just because you don’t like something, it is empirically not good. I don’t like Chinese food, but I don’t write articles trying to prove it doesn’t exist.
Tina Fey, Bossypants
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
And never grow a wishbone, daughter,
where your backbone ought to be.
Clementine Paddleford, “For My Daughter” 
Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
The only thing that we know is that we know nothing — and that is the highest flight of human wisdom.
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
In the library I felt better, words you could trust and look at till you understood them, they couldn’t change half way through a sentence like people, so it was easier to spot a lie.
Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand—but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied
Zadie Smith, rule #10 from 10 rules of writing (The Atlantic)
Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.
Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman
I fell in love with books. Some people find beauty in music, some in painting, some in landscape, but I find it in words. By beauty, I mean the feeling you have suddenly glimpsed another world, or looked into a portal that reveals a kind of magic or romance out of which the world has been constructed, a feeling there is something more than the mundane, and a reason for our plodding.
Donald Miller, To Own a Dragon
If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. 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. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.

Ray Bradbury

Rest in Peace (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012)

Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.

Make good art.

I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.

Make it on the good days too.

Neil Gaiman, commencement speech at University of the Arts (2012)
Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.
George Orwell, 1984
I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found.
John Steinbeck, Travels With Charley: In Search of America