Sometimes when you find your motivation lacking, it can be a great boost to listen to the greats, those who stood up to challenges and overcame when the world said they would fail.
So, here are 30 of our favorite quotes (from authors and other notable people), please let us know which is your favorite and if we missed a classic which has helped to motivate you.
“Everything is hard before it is easy." --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"We are all broken, that's how the light gets in." --Ernest Hemingway
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” --Mark Twain
"Never look back unless you are planning to go that way." --Henry David Thoreau
"Sooner or later even the fastest runners have to stand and fight." --Stephen King
"I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it." —Maya Angelou
"As you start to walk on the way, the way appears." —Rumi
"Things usually work out in the end." "What if they don't?" "That just means you haven't come to the end yet." —Jeanette Walls
"Straight roads do not make skillful drivers." --P. Coelho
"To avoid criticism: say nothing, do nothing, be nothing." --Aristotle
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” --Mark Twain
“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.”-- Mark Caine
“The Best Way To Get Started Is To Quit Talking And Begin Doing.” -- Walt Disney
“I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” --Herbert Bayard Swope
"If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission." --Anonymous
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure… but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” --Francis Chan
"If you're going through hell keep going." --Winston Churchill
“If You Are Working On Something That You Really Care About, You Don’t Have To Be Pushed. The Vision Pulls You.” --Steve Jobs
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” --Thomas A. Edison
“Success is just a war of attrition. Sure, there’s an element of talent you should probably possess. But if you just stick around long enough, eventually something is going to happen.” --Dax Shepard
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” --Harriet Tubman
“Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” --George S. Patton
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” --Aristotle Onassis
“It is only when we take chances, when our lives improve. The initial and the most difficult risk that we need to take is to become honest. --Walter Anderson
"No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist." --Anonymous
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” --John D. Rockefeller
“We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” --Aristotle
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” --Oprah Winfrey
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no help at all.” --Dale Carnegie
“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” --Pablo Picasso
Guest post by Angela Baker
For some reason, we distinguish “professional” writers from authors. They seem to be categorized as those who earn money writing anything other than books – blog posts, website content, business reports, and plans, etc., grants, journal and news articles and editorials, marketing content and ads (including video scripts), and more.
What most “professionals” do not write are novels. So, it almost seems contra-indicative to claim that professional writers can actually boost their talents and skills by reading fiction – a genre that seems to have nothing to do with their careers.
Yet, if you bear with this writer, you will see 7 powerful benefits for professional writers who read fiction.
1. Reading Improves Focus
If you can get “into” a good novel, you stay focused on the story, the characters, even the setting. In fact, some novels are so captivating that readers remain captivated for long periods of time, even to the point of pulling “all-nighters.” There is some “brain training” going on here.
When your brain practices this type of focus, you may find that when you face deadlines and need maximum focus, it may come a bit easier. Harvard Business Review published an article speaking to the fact that the brain can be trained to ignore distractions with practice.
2. Reading Fiction Gives the Brain a “Rest”
Professional writers tend to do the same type of writing all the time. Copywriters produce content for websites, blog posts, and other marketing avenues; freelance academic researchers, writers, and editors for RushEssay produce high quality essays, academic papers, and such for students in need; business writers craft reports, proposals, memos, handbooks, and letters. It is easy to experience burnout when only one type of research, reading, and writing consumes a person’s day. Picking up a novel and reading for pleasure can reduce the stress and burnout of work-related writing tasks.
3. Reading Fiction Can Improve Vocabulary
The vocabulary of fiction writing can be quite different from that of professional writing. Those who craft the same type of writing every day tend to use the same range of vocabulary. When they read a lot of fiction, however, they come across vocabulary that they may well know but have “forgotten.” There may be ways that they can use these forgotten words in their own professional writing, setting what they produce apart from that of other similar writers, perhaps competitors.
4. Reading Fiction Will Expose Professionals to Different Writing Styles
While each type of professional writing tends to have a certain style, fiction writing does not. There are huge differences among the styles of Spielberg, Grisham, Patterson, Kidd, and others. As professional writers read a variety of styles, they may see how they can incorporate some of those stylistic forms into their writing, to provide a different “voice.” In fact, it may help a professional writer develop his own improved unique style. There is plenty of research that speaks to the fact that the more people read, the better writers they become.
5. Reading Fiction Provides Insights Into Human Experiences, Conflicts, and Psychology
For professional writers whose work may involve persuasion and/or developing relationships with stakeholders, potential customers, funders/investors, etc., the interactions among fictional characters can provide insights into the human psyche. These include behavioral motivations, cultural values and principles, conflicts, thought processes, and more.
6. Reading Fiction Promotes Cognitive Agility and Acuity
Let’s define these terms.
In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, author Christine Seifert reviews the results of a study that incorporated the reading of fiction by small groups in a corporate setting. The readers then discussed what they had read among themselves. Conclusions of this study pointed to enhancing the brain’s ability to develop more cognitive ability and acuity – picking up informational cues when presented with a story and resisting the need to be so rigid in their thinking. They come to understand that there are very few absolutes and become more creative and thoughtful, as well as more accepting of a variety of viewpoints. According to the study, employee productivity, teamwork, and collaboration improved.
Professional writers need these cognitive skills, as they look at their audiences and the variety within them. It allows them to relate to those with whom they may not share the same values and principles.
7. Reading Fiction Enhances Storytelling Ability
Fictional authors weave stories. And good fictional authors understand their audiences and tell stories that resonate. Their loyal readers always come back for more, each time there is a new short story or novel published.
Professional writers, especially content marketers, would love to garner this type of loyalty for their brands. And storytelling has become a significant part of content marketing for that reason. It builds brand awareness and evokes human emotions. The overall purpose of storytelling is to make a stronger connection with a company’s audience and to build loyalty, not unlike what fiction authors do. And it is definitely an art. Reading fiction allows a cognitive absorption of that art.
In academic writing, an author needs to engage and compel their reading audience. Much of this is done via a title and then the introduction. One of the most compelling methods to begin an essay or paper is with an anecdote – a short story that relates to the topic of the piece.
Reading fiction enhances a professional writer’s understanding of good storytelling, and he can take that understanding into his work.
Professional writers are focused on a specific niche of writing. And it is often quite narrow. Business writers do not often venture out into content marketing; content marketers do not venture into resume writing; grant writers do not consider creative product description work.
There are also some things that all of these writers have in common:
Consider, as an example, the work of a grant writer – often considered a very “dry” type of writing. Yet, that grant writer has an audience to persuade. In addition to providing research data to “prove” his case, he also has to appeal to the emotions of his audience. This may best be presented through real-life stories, carefully constructed to put a “human face” on the need for funding to achieve certain goals. At the same time, this grant writer can experience burnout. Taking mental breaks to read fiction, allows the brain to “rest.”
These seven benefits of fiction reading for professional writers cannot be denied. All professional writers should take a look at their reading habits and incorporate preferred fiction genres into them.
If you haven’t yet heard, Amazon have just launched their new service for authors called Kindle Vella, this new service is currently available to authors in the US and allows you to publish books as one short episode at a time via the Kindle app.
So how does it work?
Your readers will be able to read the first few episodes of your book for free and after this they’ll buy tokens to unlock the other episodes, the number of tokens needed to unlock an episode is deemed by the word count of the story (the more words, the more tokens needed to unlock). Kindle will sell tokens as packs, so your readers can use them as and when they need to.
Royalties are 50% of what the read spends on the tokens to unlock your episode.
Kindle Vella is making it easier for interactions, readers can follow stories they’re interested in, ‘crown’ a favorite story (this will get featured in the Vella store), they can also give your story a ‘thumbs up’ and authors can add ‘notes’ to give additional insights and thoughts around the story.
The format is aimed at being a serial reading experience, so, your Kindle Vella stories cannot be incorporated into a long format version (you can’t turn it into a book without unpublishing it from Kindle Vella). Also, you can’t turn an existing book into a serial format – even if you have unpublished the book.
You can access the Kindle Vella service through your existing KDP account, from the account’s ‘bookshelf’ you’ll see the link to go to Kindle Vella, from here you’ll see a very easy to follow set up page, you’ll add your title, name, story image (this has to be 1600x1600 pixels, either as a TIFF or JPEG and without and text upon it), select the relevant category for your story and add tags (to help people find it easier).
Uploading your story can be done using either DOC or DOCX formats, you can even write the episode on the set-up page itself, formatting itself is a little basic, you are limited to just bold, italics and underlines, there is also a limit on word count too, the range is currently stories between 600-5000 words only (but again, this is meant for you to publish books as short episodes and one at a time.
To see more, check out the Kindle Vella page and also view Amazon’s short video explaining the service further.
Let us know what you think about Vella and will you be using it in the comment section below.
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