Words to grow on…

But first, we need to learn how to play...

I remember on birthdays as a child, after singing the birthday song, I had a couple of aunts who always pinched my cheek and said, “A pinch to grow an inch.”  I know I always hated that, but I’ve never forgotten it either.  So, I started thinking about what things have stuck with me, helped me grow as a creative person, or steered me away from what I may have wished to pursue, what things I might have passed on to my own children and what words from my mouth may have stuck with them.

I went looking for quotes on creativity because I thought it would be cool to have a motto. Well…..I found hundreds of thought provoking messages.  I haven’t yet found a single, perfect quotation to use as a motto but I’ve found a lot of good words to guide my life.  I have always encouraged creativity wherever I have seen it and I truly believe that every human has something special that they can do well.

I think I will be exploring more quotations on various subjects.  Lots of good words of wisdom out there and if something really resonates with me I can delve deeper into the author or the topics.  I won’t routinely put pages of quotations on this blog, but today seems like a good day to encourage creativity.

See if you find something here that you like—

Mary Kay Ash: For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.

Monica Baldwin: The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. And the fact that it practically always doesn’t, matters not a jot. The possibility is always there.

Linus Pauling: The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas, and throw the bad ones away.

Buckminster Fuller:  There is no such thing as a failed experiment, only experiments with unexpected outcomes.

Albert Einstein:  If at first, the idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it.

Hugh Prather:  Some people will like me and some won’t. So I might as well be myself, and then at least I’ll know that the people who like me, like me.

George Bernard Shaw:  You see things: you say ‘Why?’  But I dream things that never are and say ‘Why not?’

Anonymous:  Exhilaration is that feeling you get just after a great idea hits you and just before you realise what’s wrong with it.

Thomas Disch:  Creativity is the ability to see relationships where none exist.

Duke Ellington:  A problem is a chance for you to do your best.

Mae West:  When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I’ve never tried before.

Lao Tzu:  As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it.

Albert Einstein:  Curiosity has its own reason for existing.

Walt Disney:  If you can dream it, you can do it.

Victor Hugo:  An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.

Albert Szent Gyorgi:  Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.

Mark Twain:  Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one’s head.

Niels Bohr:  There are some things that are so serious you have to laugh at them.

W B Yeates:  Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Malcolm Muggeridge:  Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.

Bob Woodruff:  There is no limit to what a man can achieve as long as he doesn’t care who gets the credit.

Doris Lessing:  Think wrongly if you please, but in all cases think for yourself.

Benjamin C Jones:  Without problems there would be no reason to improve.

Scott Adams:  Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

Pablo Picasso:  Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

Joseph Chilton Pearce:  To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.

Martha Graham:  There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.  And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.

Charles Brower:   A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.

Linda Naiman:  When we engage in what we are naturally suited to do, our work takes on the quality of play and it is play that stimulates creativity.

Edward de Bono:  It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

William James:  Genius means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.

Carl Ally:  The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things-ancient history, nineteenth century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, hog futures.  Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea.  It may happen six minutes later, or six months, or six years. But he has faith that it will happen.

Mary Lou Cook:  Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.

Jack London:  You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.

Henry Ward Beecher:  Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.

William McKnight:  Listen to anyone with an original idea, no matter how absurd it may sound at first. If you put fences around people, you get sheep. Give people the room they need.

Albert Camus:  All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:  A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

John Steinbeck:  Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

Erich Fromm:  I shall become a master in this art only after a great deal of practice.

Frank Goble:  Because of their courage, their lack of fear, they (creative people) are willing to make silly mistakes. The truly creative person is one who can think crazy; such a person knows full well that many of his great ideas will prove to be worthless. The creative person is flexible; he is able to change as the situation changes, to break habits, to face indecision and changes in conditions without undue stress. He is not threatened by the unexpected as rigid, inflexible people are.

Lewis Carroll:  ”There is no use trying,”  said Alice. “One can’t believe impossible things.” I daresay you haven’t had much practice,”  said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Albert Einstein:  Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.

Abe Tannenbaum:  The creative person is willing to live with ambiguity. He doesn’t need problems solved immediately and can afford to wait for the right ideas.

Victor Hugo:  An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.

Edward de Bono:  An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.

Osho:  Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity that you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach – how you look at things . . . Whatsoever you do, if you do it joyfully, if you do it lovingly, if your act of doing is not purely economical, then it is creative.

George Kneller:  It seems to be one of the paradoxes of creativity that in order to think originally, we must familiarize ourselves with the ideas of others.

Henry David Thoreau:  The world is but a canvas to the imagination.

Lewis Carroll:  When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don’t state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint.

Maya Angelou:  You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

Nikos Kazantzakis:  By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The non-existent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.

John F. Kennedy:  A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.

Bertrand Russell:  Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

John Maynard Keynes:  The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.

Ray Bradbury:  Life is trying things to see if they work.

Unknown:  The stone age didn’t end because they ran out of stones.

Gerald G. Jampolsky:  A truly creative person rids him or herself of all self-imposed limitations.

George Lois:  Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything.


4 thoughts on “Words to grow on…

  1. Hi,

    Just wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying your book.

    I am a recovering/survivor of Cancer and a quilt artist, who has sort of lost her way with the journey to health. For months I have sat in my studio and stared at my fabric, without a passion to create again.

    This afternoon I bought “Rule-Breaking Quilts” and have almost read the entire book. Thank you for your perspective on letting go… Your techniques and humor are just what I need to get back on the horse and create again. Just wanted to let you know my thoughts.

    I live in Redmond, Oregon and am about 30 miles from Sisters, where the big quilt show is annually. If you ever come this direction, I would love to met you.

    Kay L. Pearson


  2. ooh I love the quote by Camus! I’m a photographer, and I have to admit that my best shoots start from the most ridiculous, silly ideas 🙂 do you mind if i add it to Camus’ infloox page?


    • Please feel free to add any quotes you would like to your page–I got them from quotation pages, and can’t believe how easy it is to find inspirational words on any subject.


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