Quotes

No one ever promised that this lucid dream we call life was going to be easy, that said, sometimes the universe seems to be having a little joke at our expense. Things go wrong, times get tough and when things seem at their very worst the only way to get through it is to look outside of yourself for the inspiration to put your life back on track.

 

Read on for 9 quotes from inspiring writers to give you strength.

 

 

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I’m pretty sure it was my grandmother not Nietzsche who coined this phrase but either way, it’s a good one.

 

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Lao Tzu, philosopher, poet and founder of Taoism in Ancient China, gives us the ultimate combination.

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True courage and incredible strength from the leader of the Indian Independence movement in British-ruled India

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Cheryl Strayed, author of best-selling memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, a book that spent 126 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, knows that sometimes strength is just being alone in a small, quiet room and feeling ok.

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We knew it all along, didn’t we? True strength can only come from love.

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Jon Krakauer is the author of a number of books about mountain climbing and was a member of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster expedition during which eight people died.

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Marcus Aurelius was Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD and wrote Meditations like a diary, finding the strength in his stoic philosophy to command an epic empire during a troubled time.

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A broken bone becomes stronger after it heals. From Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.

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A final note from anonymous. No one ever said this was going to be easy!

 

 

Stress and anxiety can kill you. Honestly, I just looked it up. Chronic stress can lead to heart disease and heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the US.

In the interests of keeping more of you alive for longer we have put together a collection of quotes that might just help you to step out of the darkness of whatever situation is currently driving you to despair and into the light.

Read on for 9 quotes that will help you to stop worrying and be happy.

 

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In comes anonymous to put it plainly. Worrying isn’t going to make the bad things stop or go away but it is going to make it impossible to enjoy the non-worrisome parts of your life. Let it go.

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There will never, ever, ever be enough time for people who want to do great things in this world. Even if those great things are as simple as making a nice home for your family, being the person your friends turn to in times of need or mastering the art of creating a happy workplace. Whatever your goals there will never be quite enough time so don’t sweat the bits you can’t do.

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I’m risking a backlash here, I know, but have you ever tried just forgetting all about it…?

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Worriers are over-thinkers. Simple as that. Give your head a rest and indulge in a delightful distraction.

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Have you tried looking outside of your own stresses and worries and into someone elses? It might just do the trick.

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Jane Wagner is a writer, director and produce best known for collaborating with Lily Tomlins and I have to say I like the way this lady thinks.

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Here’s a thing. Maybe being nervous or worried in small quantities isn’t such a bad thing in itself? Maybe the worry about being worried is the real curse to be overcome? A little case of the nerves ain’t gonna kill you and could simply be a sign that you care. Just keep breathing.

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Let’s get practical. This quote may have been taken from a well-known Science Fiction novel named Dune but the reasoning is sound. You decide which direction you go and you decide how stressed you’re going to allow yourself to become.

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Embrace the unknown because the only thing any of us know for sure about the future is that we have absolutely no control over it.

Lemony Snicket is a pitiable figure, a troubled writer and photographer who was kidnapped by a secret organisation as a child, falsely accused of murder and arson after a series of unfortunate events (you with me?) and eventually reported to be dead. In the universe of the wildly popular tragicomic book series A Series of Unfortunate Events he is, at least. In this world, the world we boldly call the ‘real’ world, Lemony Snicket is the penname of writer Daniel Handler, the American writer and journalist who wrote the series as well as a number of other YA and adult fiction.

The world of Lemony Snicket looks deceptively similar to the world we know until an inordinate number of people start to die ghastly deaths, the humor takes a giant leap towards the dark side and three children are forced to battle alone against an evil uncle.

If you’re not already desperate to get your hands on this classic series read on for 11 quotes from Lemony Snicket that’ll have you hooked.

 

1) Never Trust the Bookless

 

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2) The Unpleasant Taste of Fate

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3) Only the Wicked Don’t Read

 

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4) Messy, Awkward Love

 

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5) True for Children and for Adults – Sleep When You’re Dead

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6) People Are Like Salad

 

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7) The Dark Surprise of the Death of a Loved One

 

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8) Hope for the Best Whether it Arrives or Not

 

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9) The Merits of Weeping

 

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10) I Hate to See you Go but Love to Watch You Return with Ice-Cream

 

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11) Loose Lips Sink Ships

 

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Who the hell would want to be a writer? The most solitary, difficult, thankless task known to man, writing is nevertheless a passion for many poor souls who toil away day after day, chasing their vision of the perfect piece of prose.

For a momentary break from the mental anguish of putting fingertip to keyboard key we have put together some of the most profound words of wisdom from some of our favourite scribes.

So read on for 9 wise words of advice on writing from great authors.

 

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This quote screams grumpy old man and for that alone I love it but the message is worth remembering too; even the greatest masterpieces of world literature were once a first draft and, in Hemingway’s words, shit.

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Theroux took his own advice very much to heart and after graduating from college promptly joined the Peace Corps in Malawi before living in Uganda, Singapore and London.

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A rule to let you know that there are no rules or if there are nobody knows them anyway.

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This quote always sticks in my mind when feel like life is getting a bit out of control. Make the time to sit down with a book or you’ll never have the time to sit down with a pen.

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Lifelong diarist Anaïs Nin gives some insight into why we write that is also relevant for how we write. If you’re writing from life are you really fully tasting that moment again?

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Lovely Neil Gaiman giving all budding writers a shot in the arm of optimism. Stop worrying about being the best or the smartest and just work on the much easier task of being you.

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Author of YA fiction such as A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle offers a reminder that writing for children is in no way an easier task than writing for adults.

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Choose writing over whiskey and close the door on the rest of the world. Doesn’t sound much fun, does it?

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From the Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, a reminder that your worst enemy in any pursuit is always yourself.

We’re all individuals, completely original and unique. We all know that in order to achieve our potential, to be the happiest, most fully-actualised version of ourselves we have to embrace all that is different and strange about us. But sometimes that’s easier said than done. Particularly when the words ‘weird’ and ‘freak’ are thrown about as insults and those things that do seem to clearly set you apart from the rest of the human race are things that are out of your control.

Don’t waste a second thinking about ways you can better resemble the herd, instead read on for 11 quotes about being different that’ll make you proud to be you.

 

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Do I want to be more like Albert Einstein or more like that mean girl who just called me a weirdo? Tough one.

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Henry David Thoreau’s address to a child is just as relevant for those of us who are all grown up. You still have the capacity for anything.

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The words ‘normal’ and ‘amazing’ don’t often accompany each other when describing the people who have changed the world.

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Even Winnie the Pooh, a bear of very little brain, knows that your difference is the foundation of who you are.

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Our flaws make us human. Gloriously complicated, fragile, mysterious and human.

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Even if you’re an identical twin there is only one of you in this universe. That we know of.

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There is no one else like Bette Midler, no one even comes close.

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Hear that? Martin Luther King says human salvation lies in your creatively maladjusted hands. If that’s not a reason to start being proud of who you are I don’t know what is.

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From his essay Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson knows that no man ever did great things by conforming.

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Weird enough for what? Well, that’s the question isn’t it?

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You can make the world a better place right now by simply being yourself. Easy.

Growing up is a tricky business but one that must be done if you have any hopes of surviving out there in the big bad world. Aside from getting your driver’s license, getting your first job and getting, you know, there are a number of life experiences you have to go through in order to have the necessary epiphanies that will put you in good stead for a long and illustrious career as a bona-fide grown-up.

Read on for 9 major realizations you only have when you truly become an adult.

 

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Things don’t go to plan more often than they do go to plan but when you grow up you realise that’s okay. Just because something turns out differently to how you imagined it that doesn’t mean it’s any less right.

 

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It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I discovered the joy of walking without having anywhere in particular to go. I’m not going to the store, I’m not going to work, I’m just walking, walking for the hell of it and enjoying the fresh air in my lungs. Give it a try.

 

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Do you have all of your best ideas when you’re wasted? You’re not the only one. The key is to write all that stuff down so you remember it when you’re sober.

 

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It’s not until you’re a real adult that you understand what an actual relationship is, as opposed to a hookup or an on-off nightmare, and once you’ve seen the light you’ll never, ever go back.

 

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Keep it simple, be completely honest and let the chips fall where they may.

 

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Two from Einstein here but, let’s face it, he earned it. You can bitch and moan about the parts of your life that aren’t ideal or you can see the magic in the everyday and be, you know, happy.

 

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From The Perks of Being a Wallflower, one of the hardest things about being a real adult is the realization that no matter how many people you have in your life, fundamentally, you’re on your own kid.

 

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Screw it, basically. Growing up is accepting that you can’t change the past. Even the actions you took and things you said today are gone and there’s no way back. Start tomorrow fresh every single day.

 

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Being a real adult doesn’t just mean being calm and serene in your wisdom of the workings of the world, it’s also standing up for yourself and learning from your past mistakes.

 

 

Virginia Woolf didn’t just write her lover a letter, she wrote her a novel. A fantastic, innovative, subversive novel called Orlando, to be precise.

One of the leading modernist writers of the twentieth century, Virginia Woolf was an influential figure in a group of English intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury group. Virginia lived through the First World War, produced a fantastic body of work during the inter-war period and sadly ended her own life just as the Second World War dawned.

As well as her great works of fiction, Virginia Woolf also write diaries and a number of non-fiction works through which we can gain insight into her thoughts on the role of the artist, creativity and the challenge of writing from the heart.

Read on for 11 quotes from Virginia Woolf that’ll move you.

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Taken from Mrs. Dalloway, I love this quote all the more for being a little older, a little wiser and a little more able to hold it and turn it around slowly in the light.

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And nothing thicker than a knife’s blade separates the past from the present, fact from fiction or male from female (excuse the imagery) in Virginia Woolf’s imaginative historical novel, Orlando.

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The question is rhetorical, posed by the narrator to herself in Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own while she peruses the shelves of the British Museum and sees a number of titles about women, written by men.

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Another quote from the narrator of A Room of One’s Own, an extended essay Woolf crafted from a series of lectures on Women and Fiction, delivered at women’s colleges in the twenties.

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Between the Acts was Virginia Woolf’s final novel, one she was still in the process of revising when she committed suicide.

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Some sage advice from Woolf to her young writing charges, eat a good dinner, ladies.

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The naughtiest of all the Woolf quotes, this doesn’t sound at all like the writer we think we know and for that reason alone we had to include it.

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This particular quote is taken from The Leaning Tower, a lecture delivered to the Workers’ Educational Association in May 1940 and published in The Moment and Other Essays (1948),

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From Woolf’s Three Guineas, a much celebrated and much reviled anti-war essay published in 1938.

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Spoken like an artful adulterer and taken from Woolf’s Day and Night (1919).

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I would venture to guess such a thing too.

Despite Gustav Flaubert’s insistence that “human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to”, there is a great beauty to be found in language. English has served me very well for many years but it has its flaws and its omissions and sometimes it takes another language entirely to adequately express what you want to say.

With this in mind, read on for 7 Perfect Japanese Words with no English equivalent.

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This verb is used in literal, practical terms to refer to a method of repairing broken pottery but as a noun it is used metaphorically to mean a thing that is more beautiful for having been broken and repaired. Like a heart?

 

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Fuubutsushi is a bit like seasonal nostalgia. It’s all of the little things that remind you of a particular season – mulled wine at Christmas, BBQ in Summer, freshly-cut grass in Spring, pumpkin soup at Halloween – and make you long for that season to come around again.

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Given the almighty ancient forests that pepper the tiny British Isles, it’s surprising that the English have no comparative word to describe the specific phenomenon of sunlight filtered through leaves. We’ll have to make do with the Japanese.

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The ‘bi’ sound is integral here to avoid mixing this word up with a particular spicy green paste. Wabi-Sabi is an intense word that has two related meanings. It is an acceptance of the natural progression of life towards death and an acknowledgement of beauty in the mortal world of imperfection.

 

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Hakani is also used to refer to something ‘temporary or short-lived’ but is often used in poetry to refer specifically to matters of the heart. A melancholic phrase, hakani koi means affection that is not returned but is nonetheless beautiful for its transience.

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Omotenashi can be used to simply mean ‘hospitality’ but the real meaning of the word in use is much subtler. Omotenashi is the whole-hearted spirit of hospitality, of genuinely pleasing your guests in the best way you can.

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What takes three words in English is just one in Japanese. ‘You are my ikigai’ must adorn every Valentine’s Day card in the country.

Paulo Coelho is one of the most successful authors in the world. He has over 100 million books sold around the world – his most successful book, The Alchemist, he wrote in just two weeks in 1987 – is worshipped by his fans and lives a generally charmed life. And how did Paulo Coelho achieve his success? Talent, of course, hard work, luck and maybe just a little bit of magic.

We can all achieve our dreams, says Paulo, providing we have the right attitude.

Read on for 9 Enchanting Paulo Coelho quotes that’ll inspire you to follow your dreams.

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As soon as a dream enters your imagination the possibility of it becoming a reality enters the world.

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The great balancing act of life is avoiding stepping too far into one or the other.

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Your dreams are always in your hands, no one else’s.

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You certainly aren’t what other people think you are, are you?

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A beautiful, poetic way of saying, ‘be brave and follow your dreams.’

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Honestly, people have their own stuff going on.

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Your dreams may escape you but they go on to become the Soul of the World. Not bad.

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‘True love is an act of total surrender’, taken from By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept.

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We are all made of stars. You are a part of the universe and the universe will always have your back.

Those who love Kurt Vonnegut love him hard and those who don’t know any of his work have quite a treat in store.

Kurt Vonnegut is the author of fourteen novels, three short story collections and various other works, published during his long and fruitful fifty-year career. Most famous for his satirical novel Slaughterhouse-Five, Vonnegut was a morbidly comical writer whose work traversed the worlds of war, family life and the surreal. And he gave damn good advice too.

Read on for 9 quotes from Kurt Vonnegut on how to live.

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These words come from Mother Night, a novel in which an American expat lives a double life as a Nazi propagandist in order to preserve his marriage to a German woman. Say what you mean and mean what you say, because you’re going to be judged on it accordingly.

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The first novel published by Kurt Vonnegut in 1952, Player Piano is set in an almost completely mechanised near future where the lower classes are made up of those whose very human skills have been replaced.

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We can only wonder if this epitaph made it onto Vonnegut’s grave as its location is unknown.

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Taken from If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: Advice to the Young, a collection of Vonnegut’s nine graduation addresses delivered at nine different colleges over the quarter century between 1978 and 2004.

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Everyone’s favourite Kurt Vonnegut quote from his most famous novel, Slaughterhouse Five. You’d have to read far and wide to find four words more infused with the opposing emotions of indifference and hope.

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Written into God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater as part of a baptismal speech the protagonist is going to deliver to his neighbours twins, this quote is pure Vonnegut, humorous, humanist and just a little bit weird.

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From Vonnegut’s second novel, The Sirens of Titan, the meaning of life, all wrapped up and presented to you with a bow.

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My favourite Kurt Vonnegut quote because it sounds like something my uncle would say, this quote is taken from A Man Without a Country, an essay collection of short Vonnegut works from 2005. Well worth a read.

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From Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, this quote is a variation of a line from John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem ‘Maud Muller’ that reads: “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: “It might have been!” That’s what the internet says, anyway.