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Quotes About Creativity for Copywriters and Nonprofit Leaders

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

Updated 3.26.24

Creativity: is it a gift bestowed by fairy dust on the lucky few … or is it a cultivated skill? The answer is yes, both —  at least according to inventors, artists, intellectuals, and thought leaders.

As I read what creatives say about creativity, I can’t help but be inspired. See if you agree.

"To get a great idea ..." inspiration and quotes for writers from Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter

“To get a great idea, come up with lots of them.”
Thomas Edison (1847-1931), American businessman and inventor

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), influential 20th century Spanish artist; co-founder of the Cubist movement
“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.”
Leo Burnett (1891-1971), American advertising executive known for emphasizing simplicity and product benefits

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
Jack London (1876-1916), American author, journalist, and social activist

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”
John Steinbeck (1902-1968), Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955), German-born theoretical physicist

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try.”
Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991), American writer, poet, and cartoonist

“An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.”
Victor Hugo (1802-1885) French Romantic poet, novelist, and dramatist

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, the just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while”
Steve Jobs (1955-2011), American entrepreneur, inventor, and co-founder of Apple, Inc.

"We must overcome the notion that we must be regular... It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre."
Uta Hagen (1919-2004), German-born American actress, Tony Award winner and acting teacher

“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not’?”
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Irish playwright, journalist, and co-founder of the London School of Economics

“When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don’t state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint.”
Lewis Carroll, aka Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), English writer, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”
John Cage (1912-1992), American composer and music theorist; leader in the avant-garde movement.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Maya Angelou (b. 1928), American writer and poet

“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.”
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), 35th president of the United States

“Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”
Charles Mingus (1922-1979), American jazz bassist, composer, and band leader

“Creativity isn’t about wild talent as much as it’s about productivity. To find new ideas that work, you need to try a lot that don’t. It’s a pure numbers game.”
Robert Sutton (b. 1954), management professor, Stanford University

“Everybody is creative, and everybody is talented. I just don’t think everybody is disciplined.”
Al Hirschfeld (1903-2003), American caricaturist

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
Thomas Edison (1847-1931), American businessman and inventor

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