The words 'ever failed ever tried no matter try again' and 'fail again, fail better' on a yellow and white circle on a red and blue background
The words 'ever failed ever tried no matter try again' and 'fail again, fail better' on a yellow and white circle on a red and blue background

It can be difficult to stay motivated and maintain focus at the moment. With our daily lives looking so much different to what we've grown used to, a trying to stay on track can prove tricky. 

But writing is a solitary, often lonely occupation – and those who pursue it call on all sorts of determination to get the words down. Here are some quotes from some of the literature’s sagest voices to help propel you out of bed, and into a new day.

"Beware; for I am fearless. And therefore powerful.”
– from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

“If you don't try at anything you can't fail... it takes backbone to lead the life you want."
– from Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning ‘Good morning’ at total strangers.

– from Maya Angelou

“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.”

– from Moby Dick, Volume 3 by Herman Melville

"Don't try to comprehend with your mind. Your minds are very limited. Use your intuition."

– from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engel

“What is the point of worrying oneself too much about what one could or could not have done to control the course one's life took? Surely it is enough that the likes of you and I at least try to make our small contribution count for something true and worthy. And if some of us are prepared to sacrifice much in life in order to pursue such aspirations, surely that in itself, whatever the outcome, cause for pride and contentment.”

from The Remains Of The Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.


“Stop worrying about growing old. And think about growing up."

– From The Dying Animal by Philip Roth

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

– from Worstward Ho by Samuel Beckett.

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”

– from Marcus Aurelius.


“I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”

– from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

"Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance."
from One Day by David Nicholls

Image: Alicia Fernandes/Penguin

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