Literary Therapy: 11 Quotes to Motivate Your Soul


“You can’t drive to the coastline. You can only drive so close to the white chalky cliff and then you have to get out and dive.”

-Joyelle McSweeney, Flet

“We all believe we can choose our own path from among the many alternatives. But perhaps it’s more accurate to say that we make the choice unconsciously. I think I did – but now I knew it, because now I was able to put it into words. But I don’t mean this in the fatalistic sense; we’re constantly making choices. With the breaths we take every day, with the expression in our eyes, with the daily actions we do over and over, we decide as though by instinct. And so some of us will inevitably find ourselves rolling around in a puddle on some roof in a strange place with a takeout katsudon in the middle of winter, looking up at the night sky, as if it were the most natural thing in the world.”

-Banana Yoshimoto, Kitchen

“Just say no
to family values,
and don’t quit
your day job.”

-John Giorno, “Just Say No To Family Values”

“I can look back and recognize the things I’ve done and said that were wrong: unethical, gratuitously hurtful, golden-rule-breaking, et cetera. Sometimes the wrongness was even clear at the time, though not as clear as it is now. But I did these things because I felt the pull of a trajectory, a sense of experience piling up the way it does as you turn the pages of a novel. I would be lying if I said I was a different person now. I am the same person. I would do it all again.”

-Emily Gould, And the Heart Says Whatever

“The only thing of value anyone has to offer
is their uniqueness
and individuality
no matter who you are or what you do.”

-Penny Arcade, “Manifesto”

“The meaning of mañana is ‘Wait until the signs are right.’”

-William S. Burroughs, Junky

“Both Henry and June have destroyed the logic and unity of my life. It is good, for a pattern is not living. Now I am living. I am not making patterns.”

-Anaïs Nin, Henry and June

“Move to the beat. Dance for hours. Plan and pack for a trip. Plan and pack for a scene. Set up camp in sub-zero weather. Cook over a fire. Sharpen a knife. Wield a scalpel. Fist her. Take a fist. Clean a wound. Kiss it better. Make ’em laugh. Make ’em cry. Lift weights. Pick up girls.

-Elaine Miller, “A Femme’s List of Incidental Skills or, Things This Femme Can Do”

“We keep moving. And as we do, things around us, well, they disappear.”

-Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

“Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only real cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas. To relax, as it were, in the womb of the desert sun. Just roll the roof back and screw it on, grease the face with white tanning butter and move out with the music at top volume, and at least a pint of ether.”

-Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

“I knew people want most what they pretend to hate, that it takes courage to say what you really want.”

-Darcey Steinke, Suicide Blonde