Jul 18

Hitch Your Wagon to a Star

Shoot for the Stars

“Hitch your wagon to a star!”
~ Ralph Wald Emerson

When I looked this quote up, I was surprised to find that there are two different attitudes toward it or meanings for it.

The first reference is to set your goals high. Another adage for it is “shoot for the stars.”

With this meaning, it’s referring to setting high goals and strive toward them. Or, you might already have high goals, but the likelihood of reaching them are slim. Don’t let that stop you. Go for it. Even if you’re told it’s not probable. Do your very best to become whatever it is you want to become.

This is the meaning I always thought of for this quote. And according to my research, this is what Ralph Waldo Emerson had in mind.

The second meaning is more modern and more cynical. It refers to attaching yourself to successful people, even famous people in order to reach your goals through them, through your association with them.

It figures the more modern meaning is cynical. Instead of being inspirational, it’s negative: use others to your own advantage.

Which do you think it refers to?



Whether you need help with children’s ghostwriting, rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700.

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Jan 12

80 Quotes to Get You Moving Toward Your Goals

Last week’s post delved into inspirational versus motivational and it ends up there’s quite a difference between the two terms.

I included twenty relevant quotes to go along with the post.

This week, I’m adding 80 more quotes to help inspire and motivate you to take the steps needed to achieve your goals. And, I’m starting with a bonus quote from Jack London: “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”



“If we could CHANGE OURSELVES, the tendencies in the world would also change. As man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what other do.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

The watered-down version:
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
~ George Eliot

“Act as if what you do makes a difference.
~ William James

“Some people look for a beautiful place.
Others make a beautiful place.
~ Hazrat Inayat Kham

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
~ Zig Ziglar

You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.
~ Zig Ziglar

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
~ Zig Ziglar

“People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.”
~ Zig Ziglar

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt

When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let go.”
~ Carol Burnett

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
~ Jimmy Dean

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
~ Albert Einstein

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as thought everything is a miracle.
~ Albert Einstein

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Knowledge is limited, imagination encircles the world.”
~ Albert Einstein

“Confidence is contagious, so is the lack of confidence.
~ Vince Lombardi

“Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE.
The word itself says, I’M POSSIBLE!”
~ Audrey Hepburn

“You are never too old to set another goal or dream a NEW DREAM.”
~C.S. Lewis

“Try to be a RAINBOW in someone else’s cloud.”
~ Maya Angelou

“You must do the things you think you cannot do.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.”
~ John Barrymore


“Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.”
~ Jim Rohn

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
~ Joseph Campbell

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is YOU’RE THE PILOT.”
~ Michael Altshuler

“No matter what people tell you, WORDS and IDEAS can change the world.”
~ Robin Williams

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.”
~ Dr. Seuss

“DON’T WAIT. The time will never be just right.”
~ Napoleon Hill

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”
~ Brad Paisley

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”
~ Henry Ford

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”
~ Goethe

“Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.”
~ Dale Carnegie

“When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.”
~ Will Rogers

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

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”
~ Dr. Seuss

“Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge; let your learning lead to action.”
~ Jim Rohn

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
~ H. Jackson Brown

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”
~ Milton Berle

“Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration.”
~ Thomas A. Edison

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls & looks like work.”
~ Thomas A. Edison

“Everything comes to he who hustles while he waits.”
~Thomas Edison

“If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
~ Benjamin Franklin


“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
~ Abraham Lincoln

“The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.”
~ Harvey Mackay

“The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus.”
~ Bruce Lee

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
~ Wayne Dyer

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

“The most effective way to do something, is to do it.”
~ Amelia Earhart

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.”
~ Dolly Parton

“If you talk about it, it´s a dream. If you envision it, it´s possible. But if you schedule it, it´s real.”
~ Tony Robbins

“Positive thinkers see the invisible, feel the intangible, and achieve the impossible.”
~ Sean McCabe

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

“Never confuse movement with action.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

“A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.”
~ Mark Twain

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

The watered-down version:
“It’s not what you’ve done that matters, it’s what you haven’t done.”
~ Mark Twain

“God doesn’t require us to succeed; he only requires that you try.”
~ Mother Teresa


“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”
~ Stephen King

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”
~ Stephen King

“When asked, ‘How do you write?’ I invariably answer, ‘one word at a time’.”
~ Stephen King

“When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.”
~ Stephen King

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
~ Anton Chekhov

“You can take for granted that people know more or less what a street, a shop, a beach, a sky, an oak tree look like. Tell them what makes this one different.”
~ Neil Gaiman

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
~Mark Twain

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
~ Mark Twain

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
~ Mark Twain

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

“One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it.”
~ Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

“There are thousands of thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up the pen and writes.”
~ Wm. Makepeace Thackeray

“Only those that risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
~ T.S. Eliot

“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

“The more you read, the more you will write. The better the stuff you read, the better the stuff you will write.”
~ Annie Dillard

“Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say ‘infinitely’ when you mean ‘very’; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”
~ C. S. Lewis

“When you aim for perfection, you discover it’s a moving target.”
~ George Fisher

“A page a day is a book a year.”
~ Richard Rhodes

“I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”
~ Shannon Hale

“A writer who never gives up is called Published.”
~ J.A. Konrath

You fail only if you stop writing.”
~ Ray Bradbury

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. “
~ Richard Bach

“Anyone can become a writer. The trick is staying a writer.”
~ Harlan Ellison

“If you can read, you can go anywhere. If you can write, you can take someone with you.”
~ Renee’ La Viness

Hope these quotes get you thinking … moving forward … and writing!


Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need editing, rewriting, or ghostwriting, let me take a look a your children’s story.

Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!

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Jan 05

Inspiration Versus Motivation

I thought I’d start the new year with a couple of inspirational and motivational quotes.

This led me to the question of are these two words interchangeable.

A lot of us throw the words inspirational and motivational around a lot, so I decided to do a bit of research on their meanings.

The keyword search for the difference between the two is such a common one that HuffPost has an article on it.

If you weren’t aware, there’s quite a big difference between the two terms. They’re definitely not interchangeable.

Inspiration means to be inspired from within.

The catalyst for inspiration may be an innate feeling from youth or it can be from something external.

If you are inspired to write, you will be naturally motivated to write and you will willingly take the necessary steps to achieve your goal.

An example of an external catalyst is from when I was a young teenager. I would go to Storm King Mountain in Cornwall, New York (in the Hudson Valley area) with my aunt and uncle. On one hiking trip in the fall, the colors were breathtaking. It inspired me to write one of my first poems, Trees.

According to the site DifferenceBetween, the word ‘inspiration’ comes from a Latin word (inspirare) which means “to breathe into.” The article goes on to say that ‘inspire’ is kind of an “‘inner awakening,’ a sudden burst of creativity and productivity that was triggered by something.”

The catalyst could be anything, a song, a book, a piece of art. For me it was the trees in Upstate New York.

Inspiration has nothing to do with seeking rewards or avoiding something. There are no positives or negatives involved. It’s a strong feeling from within that motivates you to take action, that forces you to take action.

Motivation on the other hand comes from a Latin word (motivus) that means “moving.”

Motivation propels us forward to reach our goals.

There are two types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. (1)

Intrinsic motivation is when you’re willing do something without the expectation of an external reward.

Examples of intrinsic motivation:

  • Eating healthy because you want to live healthy
  • Dieting because you want to lose weight
  • Writing because you love to write
  • Volunteering or helping others because it makes you feel good

Extrinsic motivation is when you’re willing to do something for an anticipated external reward or to avoid a punishment or judgement.

Examples of extrinsic motivation:

  • Going to work because you want to make money
  • Helping others because you want recognition or praise
  • Buying expensive jewelry to impress others
  • Doing something or acting a certain way to avoid judgement

Okay, I got a little carried away here, but at least you should now know the difference between inspirational and motivational.

On to 20 inspirational and motivational New Year quotes for 2020:

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

“The most successful people in the world have an
insatiable hunger to do more, be more, give more, and create more.”
~ Tony Robbins

“Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes if permanent.”
~ Marilyn VosSavant

“Optimists are the most skillful manipulators of reality.”
Robert Arnot, M.D., The Biology of Success

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
~ Mark Twain

“Some people have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can.”
~ Willis R. Whitney

“I have NOT failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
~ Thomas A. Edision

“Somewhere someone is looking for exactly what you have to offer.”
~ Louise Hay

“Life is too short for shoes that hurt your feet, friends that make you feel bad about yourself, and jobs that crush your soul.
Take a chance. Make a change. The time is now.”
~ Lisa Lewtan

“There are only two days in the year on which nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow.”
~ Dalai Lama

“The harder I work, the luckier I get”
~ Samuel Goldwyn

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
~ Alan Kay

“I would rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
~ Lucille Ball

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ― Anne Frank

“It’s always too soon to quit!”
~ Norman Vincent Peale

“Thankfully, perseverance is a good substitute for talent.”
~ Steve Martin

“Even the woodpecker owes his success to the fact that he uses his head and keeps pecking away until he finishes the job he starts.”
~ Coleman Cox

Procrastination isn’t the problem, it’s the solution. So procrastinate now, don’t put it off. — Ellen DeGeneres

“Laughter is timeless,
imagination has no age,
and dreams are forever.”
Walt Disney

“Four things you can’t recover:
The stone … after the throw.
The word … after it’s said.
The occasion … after it’s missed.
The time … after it’s gone.”
The trust … after it’s gone. (I added the fifth)
~ Unknown Author

Come on back next week – I have another 80 inspirational, motivational, and writing quotes to keep you on the right track!

Additional Sources: http://www.differencebetween.net/science/health/differences-between-motivation-and-inspiration/

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Shoot me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Ghostwriter in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

Let’s get your story in publishable shape today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, FICTION WRITING FOR CHILDREN.

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