column_breakout.gifSometimes, the little things you do can make all the difference when trying to break in…especially when trying to persevere through setbacks, rejections, and all the crap life throws at you. To help myself out when times get tough, I keep a small journal of quotes and phrases I’ve heard that I find motivational or provide good bits of wisdom in small manageable chunks. It doesn’t take up much of my time–I just write down quotes I like when I find them, but when things start getting bad, all I have to do is read through a page or two of these quotes and get right back to it. It’s not much, but it keeps me going…and that’s the important part. So here are some examples of the inspirational stuff I keep around.

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him.
–David Brinkley

If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down.
–Mary Pickford

…you should send out, today, the best work you are capable of doing today. Of course you’ll do better a year from now. But a year from now you should be writing the story that you care about and believe in at that time–not reworking this year’s story.
–Orson Scott Card

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
–Will Rogers

It isn’t what happens to people on a page–it’s what happens to a reader in his heart and mind.
–Gordon Lish

There are times when silence has the loudest voice.
–Leroy Brownlow

The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.
–Winston Churchill

Determination + Goal-setting + Concentration = Success
–Harvey Mackay

Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.
–Victoria Holt

I can’t control the wind, but I can adjust my sails.

Dig the well before you are thirsty.
–Chinese prover

The greatest test of courage on the earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.
–R. G. Ingersoll

Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, your readers might like it.
–William Randolph Hearst

100 percent of the shots you don’t take don’t go in.
–Wayne Gretzky

You moon the wrong person at an office party and suddenly you’re not ‘professional’ any more.
–Jeff Foxworthy

Collecting little quotations like this is just one of the things I do to help me persevere. I know some people that keep folders of great artwork to scan through when they need inspiration. Some people have music and others might have books of poetry. It doesn’t have to be anything major…it doesn’t have to be something your world revolves around…it just needs to be something that helps you down the path you’re traveling when the road gets a little bumpy. Sometimes, it doesn’t take much at all–maybe just a dangling carrot…cake…with cream cheese icing…drizzled with hot fudge…and toffee sprinkles…with a side of homemade vanilla ice cream…and…