12 helpful quotes for writers, from Flaubert to John Lydon

Whether published, self-published or as yet unpublished, we writers need all the encouragement we can get. So I thought I’d share the following pearls of wisdom – some of which you’ll no doubt know, but it’s good to be reminded. I particularly like Thomas à Kempis’ little gem. So appropriate in the age of social media!

“Praise and criticism seem to me to operate exactly on the same level. If you get a great review, it’s really thrilling for about 10 minutes. If you get a bad review, it’s really crushing for about 10 minutes. Either way, you go on.” 
Ann Patchett, author

“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.”
Flaubert, 19th Century author

“We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.”
Somerset Maugham, 20th Century author

“We should have much peace if we would not busy ourselves with the sayings and doings of others.” 
Thomas à Kempis, 14th Century writer

“Keep adding little by little and you will soon have a big hoard.”
Latin proverb

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company

“Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honour of a critic.”
Jean Sibelius, 20th Century composer

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston Churchill

“I really fall in love with my characters, even the bad ones. I love getting together with them. They tell me what to do; they take me on a wild and wonderful trip.”
Jackie Collins, author

“The public has an appetite for anything about imagination – anything that is as far away from reality as is creatively possible.”
Steven Spielberg, film director

“This above all: to thine own self be true.”
William Shakespeare

“Do it yourself cos ain’t no one gonna do it for ya.”
John Lydon, original punk rocker.

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