I always worked until I had something done and I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that you knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scroll-work or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written.

—Ernest Hemingway (via diana-vilibert)

Never touch your idols: the gilding will stick to your fingers.

—Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

A little style is a good thing, but you can’t trust a person who won’t be ugly in front of you.

—Victor LaValle, Big Machine

There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl’s complexion.

—Audrey Hepburn

Have I ever been horrified to see someone in my clothes? Many times, but I close my eyes and look the other way. That happens to everyone. What can you do? Go and tell her, ‘Don’t wear that dress again’? We designers always have fantasies in our heads, but the difficult task is to make them reality. Because you can be the best designer, but designing in your own place and with nobody wearing [your clothes], then what happens? You’re nowhere.