1. Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.
2. Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.
3. Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying.
4. Never lose hope. Storms make people stronger and never last forever.
5. The best way out is always through.
6. When the going gets tough, put one foot in front of the other and just keep going. Don’t give up.
7. Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping it’s dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.
8. You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain.
9. Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
10. The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.
11. It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down. All that matters is you get up one more time than you were knocked down.
12. The one who falls and gets up is stronger than the one who never tried. Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying.
13. Persistence. Perfection. Patience. Power. Prioritize your passion. It keeps you sane.
14. Keep a little fire burning; however small, however hidden.
15. One mistake does not have to rule a person’s entire life.
16. If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.
17. First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.
18. Writers remember everything…especially the hurts. Strip a writer to the buff, point to the scars, and he’ll tell you the story of each small one. From the big ones you get novels. A little talent is a nice thing to have if you want to be a writer, but the only real requirement is the ability to remember the story of every scar.
Art consists of the persistence of memory.
19. The harder you fall, the heavier your heart; the heavier your heart, the stronger you climb; the stronger you climb, the higher your pedestal.
20. You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist.
21. Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.
22. Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.
23. Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.
24. The sky is not my limit…I am.
25. The only things you learn are the things you tame
26. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing!
27. It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.
28. Change is hardest at the beginning, messiest in the middle and best at the end.
29. When I face the desolate impossibility of writing five hundred pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day’s work is all I can permit myself to contemplate.
30. No matter how much falls on us, we keep plowing ahead. That’s the only way to keep the roads clear.
31. Do not sit still; start moving now. In the beginning, you may not go in the direction you want, but as long as you are moving, you are creating alternatives and possibilities.
32. When you die, the energy that kept you alive filters into the people you loved. Did you know that? It’s like a fire you’ve tended all your life, and the sparks are all scattered into the wind…. That’s why we survive as long as we do, because the people who loved us keep us going.
33. We are made to persist. that’s how we find out who we are.
34. Whether you like it or not, you are committed to the human endeavor. I cannot ally myself with such a purely negative goal as avoidance of suffering. Suffering is a chance you take by the fact of being alive.
35. Everything passes, but nothing entirely goes away.
36. If you wish to be out front, then act as if you were behind.
37. In my experience, nothing worthwhile has ever really been all that easy. But it certainly has been worthwhile regardless how difficult it seemed.
38. Do it badly; do it slowly; do it fearfully; do it any way you have to, but do it.
39. If you’re waiting until you feel talented enough to make it, you’ll never make it.
40. I wrote a book. It sucked. I wrote nine more books. They sucked, too. Meanwhile, I read every single thing I could find on publishing and writing, went to conferences, joined professional organizations, hooked up with fellow writers in critique groups, and didn’t give up. Then I wrote one more book.
41. The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is, that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.
42. Life has moments that feel as if the sun has blackened to tar and the entire world turned to ice. It feels as if Hades and his vile demons have risen from the depths of Tartarus solely for the purpose of banding to personally torture you, and that their genuine intent of mental, emotional, and spiritual anguish is tearing you to shreds. Your heart weighs as heavily as leaden legs which you would drag yourself forward with if not for the quicksand that pulls you down inch by inch, paralyzing your will and threatening oblivion. And all the while fire and brimstone pour from the sky, pelting only you.
Truly, that is what it feels like. But that feeling is a trial that won’t last forever. Never give up.
43. Life isn’t as magical here, and you’re not the only one who feels like you don’t belong, or that it’s better somewhere else. But there ARE things worth living for. And the best part is you never know what’s going to happen next.
44. Listen, Stephen King used to write in the washroom of his trailer after his kids went to sleep. Harlan Ellison wrote in the stall of a bathroom of his barracks during boot camp. Elmore Leonard got up at 5 AM every morning to write before work.
Every time my alarm goes off at 5 AM and I don’t want to get up, or I would rather sit down after work and play a videogame, I think about those guys. Take care of your family. They need you and love you. Make time for them. Then stop screwing around and finish your damn book.
45. Cat, I’ll let you in on a little secret. We don’t all love our jobs every day. And doing something you have passion for doesn’t make the work part of it any easier…It just makes you less likely to quit.
46. Intelligence entails a strong mind, but genius entails a heart of a lion in tune with a strong mind.
47. Success doesn’t come to you; you go to it.
48. The crazy creatives are the creatives who never go completely mad. They aren’t so easily disheartened by the seemingly endless amounts of scrutiny that creative individuals tend to receive because they, like insanity, are the ones who feed off of opposition and negative feedback and manage to continue along with a healthy ambition. It is the crazy that teaches us to use our gifts wisely and own all the attackers.
49. Persistence is the key to solving most mysteries.
50. He believed in himself, believed in his quixotic ambition, letting the failures of the previous day disappear as each new day dawned. Yesterday was not today. The past did not predict the future if he could learn from his mistakes.
51. When your only regret is if anyone thinks you regret anything – that is the definition of conviction.
52. You meet dozens of people who tell you you can’t do it. Surround yourself with the people who believe you will do it. Seek out and spend time with those rare people who tell you, no BS, why you haven’t done it yet, what it takes to do it, and how they could help you do it. Note how this advice works whether ‘it’ is robbing a bank, opening a gallery, or writing a bestseller. “It” is up to you. But you can’t do it alone.
53. The rewrites are a struggle right now. Sometimes I wish writing a book could just be easy for me at last. But when I think about it practically, I am glad it’s a struggle. I am (as usual) attempting to write a book that’s too hard for me. I’m telling a story I’m not smart enough to tell. The risk of failure is huge. But I prefer it this way. I’m forced to learn, forced to smarten myself up, forced to wrestle. And if it works, then I’ll have written something that is better than I am.
54. When I have tried and failed, I shall have failed.
55. The devil’s happy when the critics run you off.
56. Waiting is a form of passive persistence.
57. I’m learning persistence and the closing of doors, the way the seasons come and go as I keep walking on these roads, back and forth, to find myself in new time zones, new arms with new phrases and new goals. And it hurts to become, hurts to find out about the poverty and gaps, the widow and the leavers. It hurts to accept that it hurts and it hurts to learn how easy it is for people to not need other people. Or how easy it is to need other people but that you can never build a home in someone’s arms because they will let go one day and you must build your own.
58. There is no such thing as helplessness. It’s just another word for giving up.
59. It may take little time to get where you want to be, but if you pause and think for a moment, you will notice that you are no longer where you were. Do not stop—keep going.
60. A mans life is interesting primarily when he has failed. I well know. For its a sign that he tried to surpass himself.