Favorite Quotes To Inspire You

I’ve been collecting quotes for years on various topics including, but not limited to, life, love, contentment, creativity, nature, and of course, writing. I’m sharing some of my favorites to inspire, enlighten and comfort you as you go the way of life. The list is long, and I hope you will return to it often over time.





We must let go of the life we have planned so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.  

Joseph Campbell

Nothing is secure, but life, transition, the energizing spirit … people wish to be settled; only so far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold evermore wonder.

Andrew Harvey

What makes us discontented with our condition is the absurdly exaggerated idea we have of the happiness of others.

French proverb

When you can think of yesterday without regret and tomorrow without fear, you are near contentment.


A permanent state of transition is man’s most noble condition.

Juan Ramon Jimenez

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.


To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.

Oscar Wilde





It is through creating, not possessing, that my life is revealed.

Vida D. Scudder

In art, as in life, follow the accident, fear the fixed plan.     

John Fowls

A poet is a nightingale who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Every story I create creates me. I write to create myself.

Octavia E. Butler

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection. 

Anaïs Nin

If you keep working on it, it’s going to get good. And the fact that it’s bad at first doesn’t mean that you’re ill-suited to do it. It just means that it takes time.

Deborah Eisenberg

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.   

Mary Lou Cook

An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fall.  

Dr. Edwin Land

Writers make few choices, really, about their material. We have to write about what comes naturally and what interests us.

Louise Erdrich

I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.

Vincent van Gogh

Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.

William Wordsworth





The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. 

Eckhart Tolle

The key to success is to focus our conscious minds on things we desire, not things we fear.

Brian Tracy

When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.

François De La Rochefoucauld

Comparison is a thug that robs your joy.

Ann Voskamp

The poor long for riches, the rich long for heaven, but the wise long for a state of tranquility.

Swami Rama

It is only when we silence the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts. 

K. T. Jong

Language … has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone, and it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.

Paul Tillich

You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.

Indira Gandhi

Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.

John Wayne

No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored, solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself, and thereby learning his true and hidden strength.

Jack Kerouac





Perfection has one grave defect; it is apt to be dull.

William Somerset Maugham

The principle mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers. 

Arthur Koestler

People throw away what they could have by insisting on perfection, which they cannot have, and looking for it where they will never find it.

Edith Schaeffer

Once you accept the fact that you’re not perfect, you develop some confidence.

Rosalynn Carter

You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out.

Martha Graham

One of the most essential things you need to do for yourself is to choose a goal that is important to you. Perfection does not exist—you can always do better, and you can always grow.

Les Brown

In everything, no matter what it may be, uniformity is undesirable. Leaving something incomplete makes it interesting and gives one the feeling that there is room for growth.

Yoshida Kenko





Even the most expensive clocks still show 60 minutes in every hour.

Jewish Proverb

You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?

Stephen Wright

The secret of contentment is knowing how to enjoy what you have and be able to lose all desire for things beyond your reach.

Lin Yutang

Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol; you want it not for itself but because it will content your spirit for the moment.

Mark Twain

The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.

Thomas More

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

William Morris

Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.

Lao Tse

It is not the man who has too little but the man who craves more, who is poor.


Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.

Mahatma Gandhi





It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.

Judith Martin

Pride makes us artificial, and humility makes us real.

Thomas Merton

When science discovers the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to find they’re not it.

Bernard Bailey

True humility is contentment. There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self.

Henri Frederic Amiel

A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.

Benjamin Franklin

It wasn’t until quite late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say, “I don’t know.” 

Somerset Maugham 

Humility, that low, sweet root from which all heavenly virtues shoot.

Thomas More





Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

Lao Tse

The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.

John Muir

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence. 

Howe Borland 

I believe in God; only I spell it Nature.

Frank Lloyd Wright

I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.

Steve McQueen

If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere.

Vincent Van Gogh

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I’m Kathryn Kay, the founder of A Writer Within. I offer support and inspiration to women writers through one-on-one coaching, editing services, and week-long retreats in Tuscany. My focus is on getting writers into the creative flow, beyond their internal critic, and their very best stories onto the page. If you have a writer within, let’s set her free!

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