We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.

Ernest Hemingway on writers, New York Journal-American (1961)


like it or not

Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not.

Thomas Henry Huxley, “Technical Education” (1877)




While this is obvious in retrospect, a great way to free up your time to work on something new is to give something up. Instead of optimizing every second of your day (which is do-able, but very difficult to maintain), I believe the better option is to make a sacrifice.

Randall Degges, “Sacrifice” (2013)


by ear

Grammar is a piano I play by ear.

Joan Didion, The Writer on Her Work, Volume 1 (1976)



Everything starts as somebody’s daydream.

Larry Niven, as quoted in Reader’s Digest Quotable Quotes : Wit and Wisdom for All Occasions from America’s Most Popular Magazine (1997)



It’s not about passion. Passion is something that we tend to overemphasize, that we certainly place too much importance on. Passion ebbs and flows. To me, it’s about desire. If you have constant, unwavering desire to be a cook, then you’ll be a great cook. If it’s only about passion, sometimes you’ll be good and sometimes you won’t. You’ve got to come in every day with a strong desire. With passion, if you see the first asparagus of the springtime and you become passionate about it, so much the better, but three weeks later, when you’ve seen that asparagus every day now, passions have subsided. What’s going to make you treat the asparagus the same? It’s the desire.

Thomas Keller, Interview with Mark Wilson, as quoted by Wilson on his blog (2013)

Note: November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), one of my favorite things (write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days!). So I’ll be doing that…I’ve selected a bunch of quotes for this month that I think will be encourage me in my attempt (quotes about writing, perseverance, perspective for uphill journeys, etc 🙂 Any submissions you have along these lines are particularly welcomed this month!



Everything is interesting if you go into it deeply enough.

Richard P. Feynman, Omni interview, “The Smartest Man in the World” (1979)



Trying to be witty leads to lying, more or less.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince (1943)



No one who cannot rejoice in the discovery of his own mistakes deserves to be called a scholar.

Donald Wayne Foster, in a post on a SHAKSPER listserv (2002)



We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.

Carl Sagan, “Why We Need to Understand Science” in Parade (1989)



Well, I’ve reached the end of all of my ready-to-post quotes.  I now have a STACK of unsourced quotes or quotes that I need to research a little. Hoping to make some headway tomorrow, and then queue some up again. In the meantime, I apologize for the silence.



Everything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.

Dan Brown, Digital Fortress (2007)



You can observe a lot by watching.

Yogi Berra, title of his book (2009)



It was one of those humid days when the atmosphere gets confused. Sitting on the porch, you could feel it: the air wishing it was water.

Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex (2011)

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