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150 John Green Quotes to Reignite Your Passion for Writing

2. “That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.”

3. “The marks humans leave are too often scars.”

4. “That smile could end wars and cure cancer.”

5. “It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest g*dd*mn*d thing in the world.”

6. “What a slut time is. She screws everybody.”

7. “But emotional experience is as real and as valid as physical experience.”

8. “We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreparably broken.”

9. “Great books help you understand, and they help you feel understood.”

10. “What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?”

11. “If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.”

12. “The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”

13. “If people could see me the way I see myself—if they could live in my memories—would anyone love me?”

14. “Life works best when we think of people as people.”

15. “Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”

16. “As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”

17. “He wanted to draw out the moment before the moment—because as good as kissing feels, nothing feels as good as the anticipation of it.”

18. “Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”

19. “Thomas Edison’s last words were ‘It’s very beautiful over there.’ I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.”

20. “Those awful things are survivable because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be.”

21. “You can love someone so much—but you can never love someone as much as you miss them.”

22. “What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”

23. “Language buries, but it does not resurrect.”

24. “You don’t remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened.”

25. “At some point, you just pemembe-aid, and it hurts, but then it’s over and you’re relieved.”

26. “Maybe okay will be our always.”

27. “You can’t just make me different and then leave.”

28. “It always shocked me when I realized that I wasn’t the only person in the world who thought and felt such strange and awful things.”

29. “I’m starting to realize that people lack good mirrors. It’s so hard for anyone to show us how we look, and so hard for us to show anyone how we feel.”

30. “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world—but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”

31. “You are helpful, and you are loved, and you are forgiven, and you are not alone.”

32. “Our fearlessness shall be our secret weapon.”

33. “It is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he had Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars—but in ourselves.”

34. “Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.”

35. “My interest is in trying to reflect the reality of experience.”

36. “Every year, many, many stupid people graduate from college. And if they can do it, so can you.”

37. “Whatever you’re worried about, you’re bigger than the worries.”

38. “The world is not a wish-granting factory.”

39. “We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations.”

40. “I think inspiration is always around; it’s just a question of whether or not you’re noticing it.”

41. “You are so busy being ‘you’ that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.”

42. “Without pain, how could we know joy?’ This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.”

43. “It seems to me that the great pleasure of human life is not in having an opinion, but rather in learning all the ways you are wrong, and all the nuances you failed to account for, and all the truths that turned out to be not as simple as you once believed. And it seems to me that one of the central pleasures of attending school is that you get to read with really well-informed people who can help welcome you into a complex world stuffed with rich and maddening ambiguity.”

44. “You like someone who can’t like you back because unrequited love can be survived in a way that once-requited love cannot.”

45. “I don’t believe that everybody gets to keep their eyes or not get sick or whatever, but everybody should have true love, and it should last at least as long as your life does.”

46. “I don’t know a perfect person. I only know flawed people who are still worth loving.”

47. “‘Some people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them,’ I said. ‘Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That’s what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway.’”

48. “There are some people in this world who you can just love and love and love no matter what.”

49. “That’s who you really like. The people you can think out loud in front of.”

50. “Here’s to all the places we went. And all the places we’ll go. And here’s to me, whispering again and again and again and again: iloveyou.”

51. “I love you so much and I just want you to love me like I love you.”

52. “’I’m in love with you,’ he said quietly. ‘Augustus,’ I said. ‘I am,’ he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. ‘I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things.”

53. “The feeling of loving her and being loved by her welled up in him, and he could taste the adrenaline in the back of his throat, and maybe it wasn’t over, and maybe he could feel her hand in his again and hear her loud, brash voice contort itself into a whisper to say I-love-you as if it were a secret, and an immense one.”

54. “Because you are beautiful. I enjoy looking at beautiful people, and I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence.”

55. “I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.'”

56. “You realize that trying to keep your distance from me will not lessen my affection for you,‘ he said.”

57. “And if I had cared about her as I should have, as I thought I did, how could I have let her go?”

58. “Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”

59. “Sometimes you lose a battle. But mischief always wins the war.”

60. “Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions.”

61. “There are, of course, smart risks. The proper line to run through life is somewhere between extreme caution and extreme aggression.”

62. “I feel like, like, how you matter is defined by the things that matter to you. You matter as much as the things that matter to you.”

63. “Our lives are composed of a finite set of moments that we choose how to spend.”

64. “If the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”

65. “The town was paper, but the memories were not.”

66. “And now life has become the future. Every moment of your life is lived for the future.”

67. “I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”

68. “Writing is something you do alone.”

69. “You are never, ever choosing whether to use symbols. You are choosing which symbols to use.”

70. “My interest as a writer is not in reflecting actual human speech, which, of course, does not occur in sentences and is totally undiagrammable.”

71. “The challenge is the same whether or not I’m collaborating: to empathize with your reader and to tell a story that will matter to him or her. But the mechanics of going about that challenge change when you’re collaborating, because you have someone to help refine your thinking and expand your vision of what might happen.”

72. “Nostalgia is inevitably a yearning for a past that never existed and when I’m writing, there are no bees to sting me out of my sentimentality.”

73. “Writing, or at least good writing, is an outgrowth of that urge to use language to communicate complex ideas and experiences between people.”

74. “We’re professional worriers. You’re constantly imagining things that could go wrong and then writing about them.”

75. “I also like to remind myself of something my dad said in response to writers’ block: ‘Coal miners don’t get coal miners’ block.”

76. “One of the pitfalls about writing about illness is that it is very easy to imagine people with cancer as either these wise-beyond-their-years creatures or these sad-eyed tragic people.”

77. “When I think about characters, I like to think of them in their relationships to each other.”

78. “I think teenagers bring a lot of intellectual sophistication. They’re wrestling with big questions. It’s just that, a lot of times they do that separately from adults.”

79. “You do not immortalize the lost by writing about them.”

80. “Writing fiction is an inherently political activity because people—even imaginary ones—do not live in vacuums.”

81. “There’s not a lot of room for un-ironic emotion in contemporary culture. I think that irony is an important tool in dealing with the world as we find it. It’s a tool of protection, but it can also be a tool of incision to get to some truth. But along the way maybe we’ve lost some of what I think of as the power of straightforward emotion and earnestness and seriousness.”

82. “You’re both the fire and the water that extinguishes it. You’re the narrator, the protagonist, and the sidekick. You’re the storyteller and the story told. You are somebody’s something, but you are also your you.”

83. “When I look at my room, I see a girl who loves books.”

84. “I wouldn’t have a career if it weren’t for independent bookstores.”

85. “He liked the mere act of reading, the magic of turning scratches on a page into words inside his head.”

86. “I really think that reading is just as important as writing when you’re trying to be a writer.”

87. “We’re all just facilitators. The real business is done by readers.”

88. “Reading is always an act of empathy. It’s always an imagining of what it’s like to be someone else.”

89. “All the characters are made out of words. With reading, I understand that the people aren’t real but the fact that they are made out of language and are made out of words is extremely powerful to me. It becomes transformative for me. Different people have different ways of trying to make stories using language.”

90. “Books are the ultimate dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.”

91. “Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

92. “We often imagine the world as a zero-sum game, as a place where good news for someone is necessarily bad news for someone else. But I believe that kindness can change that arithmetic.”

93. “For me at least, fiction is the only way I can even begin to twist my lying memories into something true.”

94. “Everything that comes together falls apart. Everything. The chair I’m sitting on. It was built, and so it will fall apart. I’m gonna fall apart, probably before this chair. And you’re gonna fall apart. The cells and organs and systems that make you, you—they came together, grew together, and so must fall apart.”

95. “We all use the future to escape the present.”

96. “Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth, it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.”

97. “I thought being an adult meant knowing what you believe, but that has not been my experience.”

98. “We can’t love our neighbors till we know how crooked their hearts are.”

99. “True terror isn’t being scared; it’s not having a choice on the matter.”

100. “That didn’t happen, of course. Things never happened the way I imagined them.”

101. “I don’t see a future where we’re all taught by robots. The real life, physical experience of being in a classroom and having conversations with knowledgeable people is immeasurably valuable and irreplaceable.”

102. “The internet is necessarily public. It can be filtered-public or censored-public, but it necessarily has to be open and available.”

103. “Teenagers are extremely funny and extremely clever and intellectually curious. But they’re also willing to ask questions about the meaning of life without disguising them around irony, and ask questions about what are our responsibilities to other people without having to couch it in irony.”

104. “One of the things I like about making stuff in the age of the Internet is that people make stuff in response to it. You can see people respond to your work visually or musically or with writing.”

105. “Maybe there’s something you’re afraid to say or someone you’re afraid to love, or somewhere you’re afraid to go. It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna hurt because it matters.”

106. “There are times when you just have to let it all out. All the anger, all the pain.”

107. “Curiously, he felt too depressed to cry. Too hurt. It felt as if she’d taken the part of him that cried.”

108. “Every loss is unprecedented. You can’t ever know someone else’s hurt, not really—just like touching someone else’s body isn’t the same as having someone else’s body.”

109. “We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either.”

110. “I go to seek a ‘great perhaps.’ That’s why I’m going. So I don’t have to wait until I die to start seeking a ‘great perhaps.’”

111. “Is it so hard to die, Mr. Lewis? Is that labyrinth really worse than this one?”

112. “He was gone, and I did not have time to tell him what I had just now realized: that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth.”

113. “I may die young, but at least I’ll die smart.”

114. “I know so many last words. But I will never know hers.”

115. “I don’t think you can ever fill the empty space with the thing you lost.”

116. “It’s a metaphor, see: you put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.”

117. “From ‘Twilight’ to ‘Romeo And Juliet’ to ‘The Little Mermaid’, no work of the imagination is truly apolitical because the world and our hopes for it are always part of our stories.”

118. “Not all poverty is equal and not all people living in poverty are identical.”

119. “The ideas of directing attention outward, trying to imagine other people complexly, trying not to see myself as the center of the universe—these concepts have become important to me, and I hope they’re at work in my life on a minute-by-minute basis.”

120. “The way we still essentialize, we’re constantly essentializing people as merely poor, or merely other, and in the end, you can’t have a relationship with people. I think the biggest job of adulthood is to learn to imagine other people complexly.”

121. “Colin’s skin was alive with the feeling of connection to everyone in that car and everyone not in it. And he was feeling not unique in the very best possible way.”

122. “So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”

123. “It’s bad for your brain not to unplug.”

124. “Oh, I wouldn’t mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”

125. “I’m a grenade and at some point, I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?”

126. “The world may be broken, but hope is not crazy.”

127. “See we may not look like much. Between the three of us, we have five legs, four eyes, two and a half working pairs of lungs. But, we also have two dozen eggs so if I were you, I’d go back inside.”

128. “Being in a relationship, that’s something you choose. Being friends, that’s just something you are. But I do pick you. We’ve been friends too long to pick, but if we could pick, I’d pick you.”

129. “I just want you to be happy. If that’s with me or with someone else or with nobody. I just want you to be happy.”

130. “I get it now. I get it. The things that you hope for the most are the things that destroy you in the end.”

131. “Shouldn’t letting go be painless if you’ve never learned how to hold on?”

132. “I’m so proud of you that it makes me proud of me. I hope you know that.”

133. “Because if it doesn’t happen to you, it doesn’t happen at all.”

134. “Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one.”

135. “I stand in this parking lot, realizing that I’ve never been this far from home, and here is this girl I love and cannot follow. I hope this is the hero’s errand because not following her is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

136. “I actually had to face a Dark Lord in order to make the world safe for wizards.”

137. “How can you separate those things though? The people are the place is the people.”

138. “One day, you’re 17 and you’re planning for someday. And then quietly, without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life.”

139. “The morning after noted child prodigy Colin Singleton graduated from high school and got dumped for the 19th time by a girl named Katherine, he took a bath.”

140. “The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. Like, I will probably never be struck by lightning, or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a small nation in the Pacific Islands, or contract terminal ear cancer, or spontaneously combust. But if you consider all the unlikely things together, at least one of them will probably happen to each of us. I could have seen it rain frogs. I could have stepped foot on Mars. I could have been eaten by a whale. I could have married the Queen of England or survived months at sea. But my miracle was different. My miracle was this: out of all the houses in all the subdivisions in all of Florida, I ended up living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman.”

141. “Maybe all the strings inside him broke.”

142. “I spy with my little eye a great story.”

143. “The first shall be last; the last shall be first; the meek shall do some earth-inheriting.”

144. “I can almost imagine a happiness without her.”

145. “Just remember that sometimes, the way you think about a person isn’t the way they actually are.”

146. “You can see how fake it all is. It’s not even hard enough to be made out of plastic. It’s a paper town.”

147. “True love will triumph in the end—which may or may not be a lie, but if it is a lie, it’s the most beautiful lie we have.”

148. “Ultimately, if you have a worldview that can be undone by a novel, let me submit that the problem is not with the novel.”

149. “I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not f*ck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together in the most innocent sense of the phrase.”

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