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Writing or Running? An Inspirational Quote Quiz

1. “It doesn’t take very long for most _____ers to realize that if you wait until the day you… feel like _____ing you’ll never do it at all.”

2. “If you want to become the best _____er you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.”

3. “It is not so much that I began to _____, but that I continued.”

4. “It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to _____. Let them think you were born that way.”


5. “And why don’t you _____? _____! _____ing is for you, you are for you; your body is yours, take it.”

6. “Women _____ers make for rewarding (and efficient) lovers.”

7. “The advice I have for beginners is the same philosophy that I have for _____ers of all levels of experience and ability – consistency, a sane approach, moderation and making your _____ing an enjoyable, rather than dreaded, part of your life.”

8. “The funny thing about _____ing is that whether you’re doing well or doing it poorly, it looks the exact same. That’s actually one of the main ways that _____ing is different from ballet dancing.”

9. “_____ing taught me valuable lessons… I could compensate for a lack of natural aptitude with diligence and discipline.”

10. “_____ing should be a lifelong activity. Approach it patiently and intelligently, and it will reward you for a long, long time.”

11. “I’ll be happy if _____ing and I can grow old together.”

12. “If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d _____ a little faster.”

13. “A little talent is a nice thing to have if you want to be a _____er, but the only real requirement is that ability to remember… every scar.”

14. “_____ing! If there’s any activity happier, more exhilarating, more nourishing to the imagination, I can’t think of what it might be.”

15. “So what? All _____ers are lunatics!”

16. “…making a decision to ______ was a lot like deciding to jump into a frozen lake.”

17. “There is an itch in ______ers.”

18. “Panicky despair is an underrated element of ______ing.”

19. “Some seek the comfort of their therapist’s office, others head to the corner pub and dive into a pint, but I chose ______ing as my therapy.”

20. “Do you suffer when you _____? I don’t at all. Suffer like a bastard when don’t _____, or just before, and feel empty and fucked out afterwards. But never feel as good as while ____ing.”

21. “What I’ve learned from _____ing is that the time to push hard is when you’re hurting like crazy and you want to give up… Success is often just around the corner.”

22. “_____ing is a horrible, exhausting struggle… One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”

23. “…there would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness, too. That was _____ing.”

24. “_____ing… is delicious agony—delicious agony.”

25. “All I do is keep on _____ing in my own cozy, homemade void, my own nostalgic silence. And this is a pretty wonderful thing. No matter what anybody else says.”

26. “If I don’t _____ to empty my mind, I go mad.”

27. “You discover a tricky thing about _____ing; a certain amount of vanity is necessary to be able to do it all, but any vanity above that certain amount is lethal.”

28. “_____ing is a lot like life. Only 10 percent of it is exciting. 90 percent of it is slog and drudge.”

29. “A _____er is someone for whom _____ing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

30. “I am the sort of man who _____s because he has made progress, and who makes progress – by ____ing.”

31. “To be a _____er, you simply have to _____. It’s not enough to dream about being a _____er. It’s not enough to plan on being a _____er. At some point, you simply have to _____.”

32. “_____ing to him was real; the way he did it the realest thing he knew. It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond.”

33. “If you want to be a _____er, you have to _____ every day… You don’t go to a well once but daily. You don’t skip a child’s breakfast or forget to wake up in the morning.”

34. “Now bid me _____, and I will strive with things impossible.”

35. “_____ing is not a game played according to rules. _____ing is a compulsive, and delectable thing. _____ing is its own reward.”

36. “When you _____, you log on to yourself. You flip through the pages of your being.”

37. “The true _____er is a very fortunate person. He has found something in him that is just perfect.”

38. “_____ing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life.”

39. “Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good _____ing day, and on the good _____ing days nothing else matters.”

40. “Then, I started _____ing. And everything was as good as it could be.”

1. Writers/writing, Ann Tyler, “Ann Tyler: a life’s work,” The Guardian, April 2012.
2. Runner, Priscilla Welch, Runner’s World Complete Book of Running: Everything You Need to Run for Weight Loss, Fitness, and Competition.
3. Run, Hal Higdon, The Gigantic Book of Running Quotations.
4. Write, Ernest Hemingway, purportedly on the loss of a suitcase containing work from his first two years as a writer, as quoted in With Hemingway.
5. Write/write/writing, Hélène Cixous, The Laugh of the Medusa.
6. Writers, Roman Payne, Rooftop Soliloquy.
7. Running, Bill Rodgers, as quoted in 1,001 Pearls of Runners’ Wisdom: Advice and Inspiration for the Open Road.
8. Writing, John Green, vlog entry titled “July 19: A Day in the Life of a Writer (Who Has No Friends),” July 2007.
9. Running, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela.
10. Running, Michael Sargent, MD, as quoted in One More Step: The 638 Best Quotes for the Runner.
11. Running, Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.
12. Writing (though technically the blank here is “type”), Isaac Asimov, Life interview, January 1984.
13. Writer, Stephen King, Misery.
14. Running, Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times article titled “To Invigorate Literary Mind, Start Moving Literary Feet,” July 1999.
15. Writers, Cornelia Funke, Inkspell.
16. Write, Maya Angelou, The Heart of a Woman.
17. Runners, Arnold Hano as quoted in The Gigantic Book of Running Quotations.
18. Writing, Dave Barry, “How I Write: Dave Barry,” The Writers Magazine, March 2003.
19. Running, Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner.
20. Writing, Ernest Hemingway, letter to poet and critic Malcolm Cowley, November 1945.
21. Running, Sir James Dyson (of Dyson vacuums), Runners World interview, September 2009.
22. Writing, George Orwell, “Why I Write,” Gangrel, Summer 1946.
23. Writing, Markus Zusak, The Book Thief.
24. Writing, Gwendolyn Brooks, Conversations with Gwendolyn Brooks.
25. Run, Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.
26. Write, Lord Byron, letter to Thomas Moore, Lord Byron: Selected Letters and Journals.
27. Fiction writing, David Foster Wallace, “The Nature of the Fun,” Fiction Writer, 1998.
28. Running, David Bedford, as quoted in 138,336 Feet to Pure Bliss: What I Learned about Life, Women (and Running) During My First 100 Marathons.
29. Writer/writing, Thomas Mann, Essays of Three Decades.
30. Write/writing, St. Augustine, letter to Marcellinus, 412.
31. Run/runner/running/run, John Bingham, The Courage to Start: A Guide to Running for Your Life.
32. Running, John L. Parker, Jr., Once a Runner.
33. Writer/write, Walter Moseley, “For Authors, Fragile Ideas Need Loving Every Day,” New York Times, July 2000.
34. Run, William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar.
35. Writing, Henry Miller, Henry Miller on Writing.
36. Run, Kevin Nelson, The Runner’s Book of Daily Inspiration.
37. Runner, George Sheehan, MD, as quoted in The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life: What 35 Years of Running Have Taught Me About Winning, Losing, Happiness, Humility, and the Human Heart.
38. Writing, Stephen King, On Writing.
39. Writing/writing, Neil Gaiman, blog entry titled “somewhat less sinister ducks,” April 2004.
40. Running, Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Meghan Williams lives in Colorado, where she ran her first half marathon in October and should be working on her novel right now. If she could coin an inspirational quote for both running and writing, it would be “____ing: once you get past the self-doubt and if you can avoid a debilitating knee injury, you will really enjoy it.”


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