It takes 20 years

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.

Warren Buffet

Words are

Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.

Rudyard Kipling

No pen

No pen, no ink, no table, no room, no time, no quiet, no inclination.

James Joyce

Real writers

Real writers – serious writers with serious subjects, who earn their living at it – all seem to write in small rooms with that knotty-pine 1974 look on the top-floor rear of their houses. Rooms with views.

Peter York

Haven’t you felt

Haven’t you felt a peculiar sort of worry about the chair in your living room that no one sits in?

Nicholson Baker

According to most studies

According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than delivering the eulogy.

Jerry Seinfeld

In fiction

In fiction, when you paint yourself into a corner, you can write a pair of suction cups onto the bottoms of your shoes and walk up the wall and out the skylight and see the sun breaking through the clouds. In nonfiction, you don’t have that luxury.

Tom Robbins

Between stimulus and response

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

Viktor E. Frankl

It is not the strongest

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

Charles Darwin

I never guess

I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

There is nothing like the death of a moneyed member of the family

There is nothing like the death of a moneyed member of the family to show persons as they really are, virtuous or conniving, generous or grasping. Many a family has been torn apart by a botched-up will. Each case is a drama in human relationships — and the lawyer, as counselor, draftsman, or advocate, is an important figure in the dramatis personae. This is one reason the estates practitioner enjoys his work, and why we enjoy ours.

Jesse Dukeminier and Stanley M. Johanson, introduction to 1972 edition of Family Wealth Transactions: Wills, Trusts, Future Interests, and Estate Planning

I suppose

I suppose there must be idiots who dream of signing deals with publishers while fully intending to drink martinis in cool bars or ride around on skateboards. But the actual writers I know are experts in neurotic self-torture. Every page of writing is the result of a thousand tiny decisions and desperate acts of will.

Helen Garner

Newspaper readership

Newspaper readership is declining like crazy. In fact, there’s a good chance that nobody is reading my column.

Dave Barry

News

News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising.

Lord Northcliffe

Fame

Fame can take interesting men and thrust mediocrity upon them.

David Bowie

Now we’re e-mailing

Now we’re e-mailing and tweeting and texting so much, a phone call comes as a fresh surprise. I get text messages on my cell phone all day long, and it warbles to alert me that someone has sent me a message on Facebook or a reply or direct message on Twitter, but it rarely ever rings.

Susan Orlean

When I’m on the couch

When I’m on the couch, I usually have the TV on and my MacBook Air nearby. And sometimes, when my ADD is really kicking in, I have my iPad too. And my iPhone. And a magazine that I haven’t gotten to. And a book under the pillow to my left.

Aubrey Plaza

A kiss

A kiss makes the heart young again and wipes out the years.

Rupert Brooke

All you need

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.

Charles M. Schulz

There is no night life

There is no night life in Spain. They stay up late but they get up late. That is not night life. That is delaying the day.

Ernest Hemingway

I’m sorry

I’m sorry, if you were right, I’d agree with you.

Robin Williams

If you hear a voice

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

 Vincent Van Gogh

A mind needs books

A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.

George R.R. Martin

Thanks to Antares for the tip.

What is happiness

What is happiness other than a negotiation between reality and your dreams? It’s understanding that you give up something for something else.

Mark Ruffalo

It is a sad fact

It is a sad fact about our culture, that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practising it.

W. H. Auden

Making money

Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.

Andy Warhol

I asked for a hoe

I asked for a hoe, and I set me to work,
And my red blood danced as I went:
At night I rested, and looking back,
I counted my day well spent.

Eleanor H. Porter

The best thinking

The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil.

Thomas A. Edison

Tradition

Tradition wears a snowy beard, romance is always young.

John Greenleaf Whittier

Social media is a giant distraction

Social media is a giant distraction to the ultimate aim, which is honing your craft as a songwriter. There are people who are exceptional at it, however, and if you can do both things, then that’s fantastic, but if you are a writer, the time is better spent on a clever lyric than a clever tweet.

Bryan Adams

In high school

In high school, I had to hide my comic book side, my nerd side from the civilian world so they wouldn’t categorize me. They would try to marginalize me for what I like. I tried to give it up, believe me. I tried to kick the habit. But there’s too much I liked about it to give it up completely.

Mark Hamill

I am not

I am not a speed reader. I am a speed understander.

Isaac Asimov

It’s going to be interesting

It’s going to be interesting to watch presidential elections in around 2040, when voters can dig up candidates’ teenage angst pics and posts from old social media and discussion forum archives.

Mikko Hypponen

Punk

Punk is not dead. Punk will only die when corporations can exploit and mass produce it.

Jello Biafra

My youngest son has a very clear idea

My youngest son has a very clear idea of what he wants to be when he grows up: he wants to be Indiana Jones, Batman and Jack Sparrow. Yes, all three at the same time. So he basically wants to be an archaeologist who wears tights and fights crimes on pirate ships. That’s pretty cool, huh?

Rhys Darby

I decided to write Westerns

I decided to write Westerns because there was a terrific market for Westerns in the ’50s. There were a lot of pulp magazines, like ‘Dime Western’ and ’10 Story Western’ that were still being published. The better ones paid two cents a word. And I thought, ‘I like Westerns.’

Elmore Leonard

Political tags

Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

Robert A. Heinlein

It is clear

It is clear that the books owned the shop rather than the other way about. Everywhere they had run wild and taken possession of their habitat, breeding and multiplying, and clearly lacking any strong hand to keep them down.

Agatha Christie, The Clocks

Martin Luther King Day

Today is celebrated as Martin Luther King, Jr., Day in the United States and is a national holiday.

Non-government businesses don’t always observe this (and other) national holidays. However, in PG’s experience, the publishing business does. Thus, there’s a bit less grist for the TPV mill than usual today.

However, Dr. King was a marvelously fluent speaker, so reading a quote from him is almost always (for PG), an edifying experience.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

They carried the sky

They carried the sky. The whole atmosphere, they carried it, the humidity, the monsoons, the stink of fungus and decay, all of it, they carried gravity.

Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

The herd instinct

The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers.

Edgar R. Fiedler

If you can look

If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then unto me.

William Shakespeare