To be willing to die for an idea is to set a rather high price on conjecture.-- Anatole France
I'm getting more and more around to the idea that even our seemingly most basic ideas are just beliefs and not to be trusted. I used to think that uncertainty was a weakness, now I'm suspecting that certainty is.
It's so easy to be wicked without knowing it, isn't it?-- L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, 1908
That's another thing it has come to seem to me, even though the quote is from a fictional character. Connected to the quote above in principle. You do/say something harsh, believing it's justified or even necessary due to how you view the world. I heard from a nun who used to work in one of the infamous Irish monestaries which were run like slave camps: we just believed it was necessary.
Never be a cynic, even a gentle one. Never help out a sneer, even at the devil.-- Vachel Lindsay
I have found that cynicism is a very dear habit to many of us, and very, very hard to excorcise. It's one it will pay vast dividends to be on continuous guard against, I believe.
The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would never do anything.-- John Irving
Well, I'm not sure about this one. It works for some. Neil Gaiman at least said his thinking is always in writer's mode. But I just re-bought Illusions by Richard Bach*, and he is the very successful author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. He only writes when he is "assaulted" by an idea.
Similarly the story which won the First Prize in the Writers Of The Future contest where I was a finalist years ago, is a guy who really does not write much. But when he does, it's exceptional stuff.
But perhaps most writers, like athletes, need to continually do their stuff to become Good and stay that way.
*After 25 years, because I realize my beliefs have changed much towards those the book talk about, so I thought it could be interesting.