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, April 25, 2016

Bernie Siegel — Hope

As a young writer, hope is one of the few things that kept me going.  I would read a story about someone who was 50 or 60 or 7o and he had just published his first novel.  After years of toiling in the salt mines of writing, he found success.  These stories inspired me to keep writing.  I had hope that one day I would be discovered and become successful.  Even today I have that sense of hope, that belief that one day I will be proved right.  Yes, I am a writer.

When we lose hope, we give up on life.  We quit.  Some days all we have is hope.  As the old saying goes: every dark cloud as a silver lining.  We just have to find it — to look at the world with new eyes.  To see the butterfly in the midst of chaos.  No matter how dark the night, there is always a sunrise.  Everyone faces challenges and difficulties.  The sad thing for me is people who see no way out of a problem but to take their own lives.  Never give up hope for a better tomorrow.

As creative thinkers, we need hope.  We need to believe in ourselves, our ideas, our art.  Have faith that you have been given a gift.  Have faith in your dreams.  Have faith that the sun will rise again.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Robert Henri — Visual Memory

Philosophers have long said that we experience the world through our senses, and scientists have confirmed this.  The ability to see is one of our dominant senses.  The question that Robert Henri is raising here is about our memory of what we see.  Both painters and writers need strong visual memory in order to put detail into their work.  Painters often work from observing models, but they also need to be able to work from the memory of that model.  The same is true of writers.  We must be able to describe our characters, the setting and the physical world.  Often the physical world provides the reader with insight into the nature of a character.

Bernadita (1926)
Robert Henri
Visual memory is something I struggle with both as a writer and a reader.  When I come to a long descriptive passage in a novel, I will skim through it quickly so as not to be bored.  When I write, I struggle to put in visual detail of the person and his surroundings.  As a speaker I can be in a room for eight hours with a group of people, but at the end of the day I could not describe their faces or the clothes they were wearing.  

The only place where I have discovered that I have a strong visual memory is when I am driving.  I can have driven through a city once and come back five years later and I will remember visual elements and be able to find my way around without getting lost. Somehow subconsciously, my brain picks up the physical clues and I remember them when I am back in the same place, but if you were to ask me to describe the place I could not.

For the past fifteen years I have been cultivating my visual memory through the study of art. If your visual memory is weak like mine, I would encourage you to find ways to improve your visual literacy.  Most creative leaders need a strong visual memory.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Dr. Benjamin Mays — Goals

Research shows that only about 2% of Americans write goals.  I was 35 years old when I first heard about the importance of goal-setting in achieving one's dreams. In college I had dreamed of being a writer but at 35 was far from my dream. I had only written about 200 poems in 15 years. I set a goal to write a poem a day for a year. That year I wrote over 400 poems.

If you want to achieve your dreams, you need to turn them into goals.  Goals are dreams with deadlines.  Some creative leaders don't want to set goals because they are afraid they will not reach them. But the truth is that people achieve more when they have goals then when they don't. You may not reach the goal you set but you will come closer than if you had no goal. And as many people learn, the joy is in working to achieve the goal, not in actually achieving it. And when goal-setters reach their goal, they quickly set a new goal. 

I once met a 101 year old man who was writing his first book using a laptop computer in a nursing home. I visited that nursing home a couple of years later and the man, then 103, was writing his second book. What goals have you set for yourself? Your work? Your life?

Dr. Benjamin Mays must have been a master goal-setter for all that he accomplished. Mays was the youngest of eight children born to tenant farmers and former slaves in South Carolina. He earned a B.A. from Bates College in Maine, a Masters and a Ph.d in religion from the University of Chicago. He received almost 30 honorary doctorates in his lifetime. He was an ordained Baptist minister and an educator. He became President of Morehouse College in 1940, a post he held for 27 years. Mays wrote nearly 2,000 articles and nine books includingThe Negro's Church, the first sociological study of African-American religion. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who graduated from Morehouse in 1948, called Mays his "spiritual mentor" and "intellectual father." 

Childhood home of Benjamin Mays

Monday, April 4, 2016

Louis Auchincloss — The Gift of Dreams

How often do we hold ourselves back from doing the things we want to do because we are afraid? Afraid of what others will say? Afraid of failure? Afraid of success? Afraid we don't have any talent?

Louis Auchincloss wrote this statement in his first memoir, A Writer's Capital, in 1974. In his 92 years on this planet, Auchincloss was a lawyer, a novelist, a short-story writer and a historian, publishing more than 60 books. He filled his life with things he wanted to do.
Dreams are creative gifts we have been given — paths that we should walk.  When we refuse to seek our dreams and refuse to do the work that needs to be done, we are rejecting the gift. We are denying our birthright. 

Is there something you have been dreaming of doing, but have not done it? Maybe today it is time to take that first step in achieving your dreams. If you don't, no one will care. Only you care about your dreams. Only you can achieve your dreams. Only you have the power it takes to achieve your dreams.

Today I celebrate my 67th birthday. I am thankful for the gifts I have been given — the dreams that I followed and the life I have lived.