Welcome! There are more than 900 Inspirational Quotes For Writers, Artists and Other Creative Leaders on this site.
Spend a few minutes exploring. And come back again and again for other inspirational quotes.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Harley King


As the winter winds whip
about the leafless trees,
bringing snow and ice,
and you sit by the fire
with a cup of hot chocolate,
reading a thriller or romance novel,
pause for a few precious minutes
and reflect on what has happened
in your life over the last year.
What are you thankful for?
What moments do you hope
will never come again?
Who do you wish you could
give a hug to at this moment?
After you have added another log
to the fire and refilled your cup,
sit back and think about
the coming year with all its hopes
and dreams.  Who are the people
most important to you and what
will you do to make them happy?
When spring overpowers the winter cold
and shoots through the frozen earth
with green leaves and lovely flowers,
will your dreams still inspire you
to raise your head and venture
forth onto the paths of tomorrow?

— Harley King

Click here to listen to a recording of my reading: Contemplation.


May 2014 be filled with hugs, joy, 
laughter, happiness, love, and peace!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Faisal Hoque

"Creative people's openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also to a great deal of enjoyment."

— Faisal Hoque
Bangladesh Author / Entrepreneur / Thought Leader
1969 - 

Creativity requires that a person be open and sensitive to the world around him.  Yet this same openness that ignites creativity can put a person in harm's way.  This openness exposes creative people to rejection that often will cause pain and even suffering.  Writers and artists want to capture the world accurately and creatively which requires that they be in and of the world.  We can't stand on the sidelines or we will have nothing to say.  We have to be out on the battlefield finding our way through the mud, the blood and the destruction.  We have to experience life at its fullest.

If people only experienced pain from being creative, most people would avoid creativity.  Fortunately creativity also brings great joy and happiness that outweighs the pain.  The rewards are greater than the costs.  

What do you think?  Is creativity a blessing or a curse in your life?  Have you received more joy or more pain?  Is it a gift that you hope keeps giving?  Share a story of how creativity has been a blessing or a curse in your life.  Tell us what creativity means to you.

Creative Practice
This week write a poem or short story or paint a picture about sensitivity and creativity.  What happens to the sensitive creative person in a hostile, by-the-book, as-we-have-always-done-it world?  What challenges does he or she face?  Is the creative spirit a blessing or a curse?  Does he survive or perish?

Faisal Hoque was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  At fourteen he started a business selling stereo components to raise money to study in the United States.  He left Bangladesh to study in the U.S. at seventeen.  He developed his first software product as a student of 19 at the University of Minnesota.  He has held management positions at Pitney Bowes, Dun and Bradstreet and General Electric.  He has also founded several companies.  He has also written 6 books including The Power of Convergence, Six Billion Minds and the Alignment Effect.  His latest book, Everything Connects, is scheduled for publication in 2014.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Harley King

"May your dreams be larger than mountains and may you have the courage to scale their summits."

— Harley King
Speaker / Poet / Storyteller
1949 - 

Many of us dream too small.  We don't reach high enough — far enough.  We settle for less than we want.  We settle for less than we can achieve.  Stretch your imagination.  Dream bigger than you ever thought possible.  

If you knew you wouldn't fail, what would you do?  Where would you go?  What would you achieve?  We often let our fears and doubts prevent us from dreaming big.  It is easier to settle for small dreams that we may be able to accomplish.  What are your impossible dreams?  What are your dreams that you are sure have a 99% chance of failing?  Why don't you chase those dreams?  

We all like to win — to succeed.  We hate to fail so we set small goals that we know we can achieve.  Let me give you an example.  Let's say you like to play basketball so you challenge yourself to a game of shooting 100 free throws.  You are confident that you can make at least 50% so you set a stretch goal making 70 out of 100 baskets.  This is a good goal — an achievable goal, but your dream is too small.  Dream of making 100% of your shots.  Impossible right?  Maybe.  But let's say you fail to make 100% and only make 95 shots.  You are still better off than if your goal was 70% and you made 70 shots.  Stretch yourself.  Dream gigantic dreams.  Your dreams should be bigger than life.

Creative Practice
This week make a list of your impossible dreams.  Stretch yourself.  If failure was not an option, what would you attempt to do with your life.  

Harley King is a professional speaker who has delivered over 4,500 motivational presentations and workshops on leadership, customer service, writing, art and creativity to audiences size 10 to 600. He is a poet and writer and has written over 4,000 poems and more than 100 short stories.   He have published 12 books of poetry and 2 books of non-fiction. 

"We all wear masks of various
shapes and sizes." — Harley King
During his more than sixty years on this illustrious planet, he have been gainfully employed as a carpenter, street sweeper, car hop, corn detasseler, hospital orderly, radio announcer, book editor, publisher, freelance writer, bus driver, sports writer, bookkeeper, policy and procedures writer, forms designer, marketing vice-president, corporate executive, professional speaker, facilitator, salesman, trainer, organizational development consultant, ad writer, storyteller, poet and communications executive. Some jobs he has held for a few hours and others he has held for years. He has also worked for more than thirty different bosses.   


by Harley King

I write
a few words
on a torn sheet
of paper
while listening
for the sound
of your voice
calling me to dinner.
Sometimes we dream
of listening
to ourselves talk.
Sometimes we forget
we were born
to cry.
I dance
in the moonlight
and remember
the darkness
that holds
my delicate heart.

Here is Harley King reading one of his poems, Indecision.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Claribel Alegria

"Sometimes it's a great joy to write poems, they sort of come.  But other times I suffer when a poem dies in my hand; it's terrible when a poem dies a premature death."

Claribel Alegria
Nicaraguan Poet / Novelist
1924 -

Have you ever had a poem or a story die?  The inspiration faded away and what remained was a burnt out structure — a failed thought, a hopeless dream.  Creative leaders have lots of ideas, but only a few come to fruition — only a few hold our attention long enough to finish them.  Have you ever started a creative project only to abandon it on the scrapheap because something more exciting came along?  Have you ever been excited and thrilled to start a new creative project only to find a few weeks into it that it won't work?

Creative leaders are blessed with bushel baskets of ideas, but often fail to finish most.  Creative leaders fail more than they succeed.  Failure is a fact of life.  And that is okay.  Even the most prolific artists and writers have unfinished paintings and novels.  I have read stories of people who work on a creative project for five to ten years only to abandon it in the end.  I worked on a novel for 4 years before abandoning it for a non-fiction book that has been published.  I don't think of the time spent on the novel as hours as wasted.  It is important to plow the subconscious — to till the soil of the heart.

I recommend that you never throw anything away, no matter how bad it is.  (I know I am a hoarder.)  Some day when you reread the work you may find a line or a paragraph that inspires you to write something new.  Unfortunately, I have read stories of writers and painters who destroy their work because they are not satisfied.  To me that is a mistake.   You need to keep all your work, not just the best.  Don't let your need to be perfect to get in the way of exploration and failure or even history.  All work has merit.  Sometimes we have to write badly to prepare the way for the brilliant work.

Creative Practice
This week read and review old material.  Look for a line or a paragraph that inspires you.  Write a new poem or short story or paint a picture.

Claribel Alegria was born in Nicaragua to Salvadoran parents who had been exiled because of their human rights work.  She spent most of her childhood in El Salvador.  At nineteen she moved to the United States and earned a degree from George Washington University.  Like her parents, she also spent several years in exile.  She currently lives in Nicaragua.


by Claribel Alegria

In the sixty-eight years
I have lived
there are a few electrical instants:
the happiness of my feet
skipping puddles
six hours in Macchu Pichu
the ten minutes necessary
to lose my virginity
the buzzing of the telephone
while awaiting the death of my mother
the hoarse voice
announcing the death
of Monsignor Romero
fifteen minutes in Delft
the first wail of my daughter
I don't know how many years
dreaming of my people's liberation
certain immortal deaths
the eyes of that starving child
your eyes bathing me with love
one forget-me-not afternoon
and in this sultry hour
the urge to mould myself
into a verse
a shout
a fleck of foam.

Translated from the Spanish by D.J. Flakoll From FUGUES (Curbstone Press 1993)

Moyers, Bill.  The Language of Life.  Doubleday, 1995.