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If like me you’re feeling a little weary this week (with no destination in sight for the forseeable), I thought you’d appreciate some of my fave quotes on what constitutes SUCCESS … I bet you’re at least halfway there already! Also, don’t forget you can now check out my latest podcast appearance on @thecreativepenn. I talk adapting novels, genre, film rights, treatments and much more with the lovely Joanna. Listen to it free, HERE.


1) Pablo Picasso

Action is the foundational key to all success.

2) Emily Dickinson

Success is counted sweetest by those who never succeed.

3) Somerset W. Maugham

The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistic and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant and kind.

4) Ellen DeGeneres

It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.

5) Arnold H. Glasgow 

Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.

6) Bruce Lee

Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.

7) Coco Chanel

Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.

8) Franklin D. Roosevelt

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.

9) Malcolm X

If you have no critics you’ll likely have no success.

10) Jean Giraudoux

The secret of success is sincerity.


11) Sophocles

There is no success without hardship.

12) Michael Jordan

I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.

13) Napoleon Hill

The starting point of all achievement is desire.

14) David Frost

Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.

15) Oprah Winfrey

The best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you. 

16) Henry Ford

If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.

17) David Brinkley

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.

18) Criss Jami

Persistence. Perfection. Patience. Power. Prioritize your passion. It keeps you sane.

19) George S. Patton 

Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.

20) Beverley Sills

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.

Need more inspiration?


Check out my books, Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays, plus its follow up on Drama Screenplays, HERE.

‘Not merely a great read for those wanting to write a thriller but anyone with a serious interest in screenwriting’

‘I highly recommend this book for all writers; not just those who write dramas’

More inspiring links:

It’s NEVER too late to start writing your masterpiece … here’s why

20 Inspirational Quotes Writers Can Learn From (And Why) 

5 Ways To Stay Focused On Your Writing Dream 

Connecting With Writers, Filmmakers & Agents Online 

12 Authors On Rewriting 

8 Ways For Screenwriters To Get Collaborating & Making 

Making It As A Writer: 25 Reasons You Haven’t Yet

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2 Responses to Top 20 Quotes For Writing Success

  1. Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat says:

    Per ardua ad astra (RAF)

  2. Andy Phillips says:

    Sophocles was a bit harsh: no success without hardship? Must have been a lazy bugger, equating effort with hardship!

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