What words inspire you? Communicators share their favorite passages

When the writing gets tough, the tough tap into classic books for motivation.

Writing has a certain rhythm, a natural flow; and when you’re in “the zone,” a keyboard creates a sublime cadence. It’s a beautiful thing—to write and not be fully aware of how you’re stringing sentences together to make an empty page whole.

But then, you get stuck.

So, what pages do you turn to when you’re looking for inspiration? We asked communicators and MyRaganites to weigh in. We hope these words motivate you to get back to writing some of your own. If not, feel free to add some of your favorite lines from books.

From The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“I love New York on summer afternoons when everyone’s away. There’s something very sensuous about it—overripe, as if all sorts of funny fruits were going to fall into your hands.”

Submitted by MaryEllen Nugent Lee, of 2 PR Chicks

From Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

“We see a newborn moth unwrapping itself and announce, Look, children, a miracle! But let an irreversible wound be knit back to seamlessness? We won’t even see it, though we look at it every day.”

Submitted by MyRaganite Eileen Burmeister, internal communications

From A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.”

Submitted by Travis Dudfield, PR Manager at 1-800-GOT-JUNK

From Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”

Submitted by MyRaganite Lisa, internal communications

From Better Because of You by Ginny Hutchinson and Cathy Haffner

“If it is to be, it begins with me.”

Submitted by Margo Spellman of The Spellman Company

From On the Road by Jack Kerouac

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing?—it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-by. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”

Submitted by Todd Fraser, of Ink Inc. PR

From Illusions by Richard Bach

“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.”

Submitted by Larry Braman, president of Global Career Consulting and Placement

From Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

“As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all—the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.”

Submitted by MyRaganite Doug Williams, marketing communications

From Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

“So long you crummy morons.”

Submitted by Lynda McDaniel, director of Association for Creative Business Writing

From Red Wind by Raymond Chandler

“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen.”

Submitted by MyRaganite Drew, speechwriter

From Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

“Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.”

Submitted by Tom Hughes, managing editor at UNC Medical Center News Office

From Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

“No man ever understands his own artful dodges to escape from the grim shadow of self knowledge.”

Submitted by Dave Hatter of Libertas Technologies

From The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Don’t let the bastards get you down.”

Submitted by Rachel Vermillion Betta, development associate at Gateway Rehabilitation Center

From Brave Men by Ernie Pyle

“I was at the foot of the mule trail the night they brought Capt. Waskow’s body down the mountain. The moon was nearly full at the time, and you could see far up the trail, and even part way across the valley. Soldiers made shadows as they walked.”

Submitted by Matt Montague, of Smith Marketing Services

From Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

“He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.”

Submitted by MyRaganite Jeff, human resources


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