15 quotes from famous writers that died in 2014Buzzfeed compiled a series of quotes from some of the influential writers that passed away in 2014. Inspiring. Grumpy. Funny. Wise. The quotes run the gamut, but they're all worth reading. Here are a few of my favorites: "Each moment is a place you've never been." - Mark Strand "Once I began to read, I began to exist." - Walter Dean Myers "It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams." - Gabriel García Márquez.

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Neil Gaiman graduation speechI can't even remember who gave the commencement address at my college graduation. Must've made quite the impression, huh? If it'd been an author or poet up there — one whose work I really loved — I'd have been all ears, of course. Now, thanks to this Flavorwire article, I can imagine I'm back there, sitting on an uncomfortable folding chair, baking in the May sun, dressed in cap and gown, and listening to a cavalcade of respected writers dispense their best nuggets of wisdom.

Here's just a few inspiring excerpts:

“Lots of people, when they first start writing, write about themselves. But I’m going to be blunt: You’re not as interesting as you think you are. And even if you’ve had an unusual life, a difficult life, a shocking life, it’s not easy to write about it well. We seem to have little perspective on ourselves and what will be appealing to others. That’s partly why I moved into writing historical novels — it takes me away from my self, so that you don’t have to read about me. Writing about places and times I know nothing about has gotten me interested in all kinds of strange things. In the name of research I’ve gone fossil hunting, given tours in a Victorian cemetery, learned to quilt. I’ve handled priceless medieval tapestries and held the original notebook William Blake drafted Songs of Innocence and of Experience in." - Tracy Chevalier, Oberlin College, 2013

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We all have days when we need a little extra inspiration. Writers especially can benefit from a little added encouragement, and sometimes the best way to stay focused and positive is to listen to the words of other writers. Here are a few of our favorite quotes about writing, reading and books. Do you have a favorite quote that helps keep you motivated or inspired? Let us know in the comments below. On books & reading: “Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.” — Louisa May Alcott “If one reads enough books one has a fighting chance. Or better, one’s chances of survival increase with each book one reads.” — Sherman Alexie “No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” — Confucius

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