16 Quotes For When You’re Feeling *Dead Inside*

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Writers, it’s brutal out here.

If you’re feeling jaded about the rapid commodification of content, mass layoffs, and the looming threat of AI, I hope these quotes bring you a bit of hope.

These quotes have nothing in common except for the fact that (1) I like them and (2) they never fail to bring in a little morsel of joy and wonder for the written word.

Take what you need, friend:

1. Banana Yoshimoto – Kitchen

In the uncertain ebb and flow of time and emotions, much of one’s life history is etched in the senses.

– Banana Yoshimoto

2. JM Barrie – Peter Pan

When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies

– JM Barrie

3. Kelly Barnhill, The Girl Who Drank the Moon

How many feelings can one heart hold?… Infinite, Luna thought. The way the universe is infinite. It is light and dark and endless motion; it is space and time, and space within space, and time within time. And she knew: there is no limit to what the heart can carry.

― Kelly Barnhill

4. Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Your heart is like a great river after a long spell of rain, spilling over its banks. All signposts that once stood on the ground are gone, inundated and carried away by that rush of water. And still the rain beats down on the surface of the river. Every time you see a flood like that on the news you tell yourself: That’s it. That’s my heart.

– Haruki Murakami

5. Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes

Oh, what strange wonderful clocks women are. They nest in Time. They make the flesh that holds fast and binds eternity. They live inside the gift, know power, accept, and need not mention it. Why speak of time when you are Time, and shape the universal moments, as they pass, into warmth and action? How men envy and often hate these warm clocks, these wives, who know they will live forever.

– Ray Bradbury

6. Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, Good Omens

If you want to imagine the future, imagine a boy and his dog and his friends. And a summer that never ends.

― Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett

7. Alix E. Harrow, The Ten Thousand Doors of January

I hope you will find the cracks in the world and wedge them wider, so the light of other suns shines through; I hope you will keep the world unruly, messy, full of strange magics; I hope you will run through every open Door and tell stories when you return.

Alix E. Harrow

8. Diana Wynne Jones, Howl’s Moving Castle

“I think we ought to live happily ever after.”

– Diana Wynne Jones

9. Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation.
They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored.

– Anne Lamott

10. Durian Sukegawa, Sweet Bean Paste

I Listened to the birds that visited Tenshoen, and the insects, trees, grass and flowers. To the wind, rain and light. And to the moon. I believe they all have voices. I can easily spend a whole day Listening to them. When I am in the woods at Tenshoen the whole world is there too. When I hear stars whispering at night I feel part of the eternal flow of time.

– Durian Sukegawa

11. Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl

She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a cork board like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.

– Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl

12. Katherine Arden, The Bear and the Nightingale

Why linger here? The world is wide, and our corner so very small.

– Katherine Arden

13. Maggie Stiefvater, All the Crooked Saints

What a shame that both miracles and radio waves are invisible, because it would be quite a sight: ribbons of marvel and sound stretching out straight and true from all over the world.

– Maggie Stiefvater, All the Crooked Saints

14. Jostein Gaarder, The Orange Girl

What is this great fairy tale we live in and which each of us is only permitted to experience for such a short time?

– Jostein Gaarder

15. Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon

I don’t know what’s worse: to not know what you are and be happy, or to become what you’ve always wanted to be, and feel alone.

– Daniel Keyes

16. Samantha Shannon, The Priory of the Orange Tree

Art is not one great act of creation, but many small ones. When you read one of my poems, you fail to see the weeks of careful work it took me to build it–the thinking, the scratched-out words, the pages I burned in disgust. All you see, in the end, is what I want you to see.

– Samantha Shannon

hi, i'm kristiana

I’m the strategist and writer behind copylang. I’ve spent the past 7+ years helping founders attract, nurture, and convert audiences through content strategy and copywriting. Welcome to our slice of the internet!

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