Is summer easy creatively, or a distraction? Françoise Price rounds up some inspiring quotes from creatives and philosophers past and present to help us stay focused in the holidays.


"Your day's work might turn out to have been a mess. So what? Vonnegut said, 'When I write, I feel like an armless legless man with a crayon in his mouth'. So go ahead and make big scrawls and mistakes. Use up lots of paper. Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist's true friend. What people somehow ... forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here - and, by extension, what we're supposed to be writing."

— Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird 
(first published 1994 by Pantheon Books)

"What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create."

— Buddha


"As a writer you should not judge. You should understand"

— Ernest Hemingway. (Via


"Many words end up being sacrificial: we have to spill the surface ones to get to the good stuff. We can carve away the surplus later. For now, let’s relax and hold all the words lightly, not being too attached to what lands on the page. Let’s allow writing to be our meditation. Nothing more, nothing less."

— Beth Kempton, The Way of the Fearless Writer



“Creative living is any life that you live where your decisions are based more strongly on your curiosity than your fear. And if you consistently, habitually, routinely, at every sort of intersection and decision in your life make decisions based on curiosity rather than fear, then you will be engaging with creativity. Your life itself will become a work of art, if you can consistently live that way.”


— Elizabeth Gilbert, via London Writers Salon



“The one thing you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. The moment that you feel that just possibly you are walking down the street naked… that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.”


– Neil Gaiman via Goodreads



"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working."

– Pablo Picasso



“Shitty first drafts. All good writers write them. This is how they end up with good second drafts and terrific third drafts.” 

— Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird 
(first published 1994 by Pantheon Books)

*Header image: In-house collaboration by Ell Rose and Tita Berredo 


Françoise Price is Deputy Editor of Words & Pictures. Contact


Ell Rose is the Illustration Features Editor of Words & Pictures. Contact them at

Tita Berredo is Illustrator Coordinator of SCBWI British Isles and Art Director of Words & Pictures. Contact her at:

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