Resources for Writers
G & B
Writing Books
for Writers
Glo  &  Bill
On Ideas, Inspiration, Imagination and Genius

Ideas and Inspiration

"It has been said that writing comes more easily if you have something to say."

- Sholem Asch 
"To live IN the world of creation--to get into it and stay in it--to frequent it and haunt it--to THINK intensely and fruitfully--to woo combinations and inspirations into being by a depth and continuity of attention and meditation--this is the only thing." 
- Henry James 
"To have ideas is to gather flowers; to think, is to weave them into garlands."
- Madam Swetchine 
"The telephone book is full of facts, but it doesn't contain a single idea." 
- Mortimer J. Adler 
"An idea, like a ghost, according to the common notion of ghosts, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself." 
- Charles Dickens 
"When they come, I write them; when they don't come, I don't." 
- Jack Kerouac 
"I don't wait to be struck by lightning and don't need certain slants of light in order to write." 
- Toni Morrison 
"I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking." 
- Christopher Isherwood 
"Inspiration comes out of the act of making an artifact, a work of craft."
- Anthony Burgess 
"I've always disliked words like inspiration. Writing is probably like a scientist thinking about some scientific problem, or an engineer about an engineering problem." 
- Doris Lessing 
"I quit writing if I feel inspired, because I know I'm going to have to throw it away. Writing a novel is like building a wall brick by brick; only amateurs believe in inspiration." 
- Frank Yerby 
"I don't know anything about inspiration because I don't know what inspiration is; I've heard about it, but I never saw it." 
- William Faulkner 
"I trust inspiration, which sometimes comes and sometimes doesn't. But I don't sit back waiting for it. I work every day." 
- Alberto Moravia 

"Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine; and at last you create what you will." 

- George Bernard Shaw 
"Imagination is untamed. Creativity is imagination brought to fruition."
- Gloria T. Delamar 
"Mastery is not something that strikes in an instant, like a thunderolt, but a gathering power that moves through time, like weather." 
- John Gardner 
"Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth, by calling imagination to the help of reason." 
- Samuel Johnson 
"Imagination, where it is truly creative, is a faculty, not a quality; its seat is in the higher reason, and it is efficient only as the servant of the will. Imagination-- as too oten understood, is mere fantasy--the image-making power, common to all who have the gift of dreams." 
- James Russell Lowell 
"He who has imagination without learning has wings and no feet." 
- Joseph Joubert 

"A genius is a person who is a crackpot until he or she hits the jackpot." 

- Unknown 
"It's no fun being a genius when you are the only one who knows about it."
- Unknown 
"Talent--genius if you will--survives the most stringent oppression. Quality and distinction are in almost all cases recognized eventually. It's only a matter of luck and timing (but the timing, unfortunately, can be way off)."
- William McPherson 
"Unless one is a genius, it is best to aim at being intelligible."
- Anthony Hope 
"A genius is someone who shoots at something no one else can see, and hits it."
- Unknown 
"Genius, in fact, may be defined as the ability to control luck."
- Lance Morrow 
"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."
- Jonathan Swift 
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits."
- Unknown 
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