Famous quotes I didn’t write

HOW I’D LOVE to take credit for some of the grand thoughtful sayings orbiting the Internet that somehow got warranted to me!  How I not-love getting credit for some of the others I can’t believe are true.


I don’t want to do business with those who don’t make a profit, because they can’t give the best service.   — Richard Bach

Never heard of this line, and I don’t much care whether any business (besides mine) makes a profit or gives the best service.  Most likely said by a different Richard Bach, of whom there are many.  Some of them get mail for me, and once in a while I get mail for them.


A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.   — Richard Bach

Bright clear insight, and true…every professional writer was once an amateur, no guarantee they’d survive.  I’ve quoted that line at talks I’ve given, said it was from Samuel Johnson.  Then I had a doubt about that, as it sounds a little modern for Sam.  According to Google, the person who said it was…me!  I didn’t write it.  Who did?  Please don’t say it doesn’t matter, or the custom of attributing quotes to somebody even when they’re not the source will collapse.  Let me know when you find who said it first.


If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.   — Richard Bach

A fine sentiment.  Not mine, unfortunately.


In order to win, you must expect to win.   — Richard Bach

Not true.  I’ve won now and then when I didn’t expect, and lost sometimes when I expected otherwise.  As I wouldn’t bet the farm on this one, I decided not to write it.


It is by not always thinking of yourself, if you can manage it, that you might somehow be happy. Until you make room in your life for someone as important to you as yourself, you will always be searching and lost.   — Richard Bach

A new category: from a book of mine, but not said by me.  That’s Leslie Parrish speaking, in The Bridge Across Forever.


Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.   — Richard Bach

That’s Leslie’s, too.


Strong beliefs win strong men, and then make them stronger.   — Richard Bach

Not a clue, who said that.


The simplest things are often the truest.   — Richard Bach

This one has a vague resemblance to something I wrote.  But it’s tumbled so far downstream, shedding parts along the way, that it’d take a while to find the original.


No matter how qualified or deserving we are, we will never reach a better life until we can imagine it for ourselves and allow ourselves to have it.   — Richard Bach

Sounds sort of like me, but not.


When you have come to the edge of all the light you have

And step into the darkness of the unknown

Believe that one of the two will happen to you

Either you’ll find something solid to stand on

Or you’ll be taught how to fly!   — Richard Bach

Grand inspiring quote.  Wish I had written it.


What matters most:

What he had yearned to embrace was not the flesh but a downy spirit, a spark, the impalpable angel that inhabits the flesh.

Wind, Sand and Stars.   — Richard Bach

This may be one of those rare fell-into-the-blender quotes.  Some nice idea from somebody (Antoine de Saint-Exupery, who wrote Wind, Sand and Stars?), not moi.


If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.   — Richard Bach

It’s not just once, you’re misquoted, it’s over and over and over again.


You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.   — Richard Bach

A not-quite quote.  ‘Tisn’t “dream,” but “wish.”


You are never given a wish without what it takes to make it true.   — Richard Bach

At least they got the “wish” part right.


Everybody is given a Dream… you may have to work for it however…   — Richard Bach

At least they got the “work for it” part right.


 چرا دشوارترین کار در جهان این است که پرنده ای را متقاعد کنی، آزاد است

 Moćna ideja je apsolutno fantastična i potpuno beskorisna ako ne odlučimo da je ostvarimo.

 Gar khodavand cheshm dar cheshmat nahad va gooyad:

farmanat daham ta zende’ee be shadi dar in jahan sar koni.

che khahi kard? 

Ένας επαγγελματίας συγγραφέας είναι ένας ερασιτέχνης που δεν τα παράτησε.

Може ли разстоянието наистина да те раздели от приятелите ти… Ако искаш да си с някого, когото обичаш, не си ли вече там при него?   – – –  Richard Bach

I love languages.  I hope these words are mine.


Whatever harm I would do to another, I shall do first to myself.

 As I respect and am kind to myself, so shall I respect and be kind to peers, to elders, to kits.

I claim for others the freedom to live as they wish, to think and believe as they will. I claim that freedom for myself.

 I shall make each choice and live each day to my highest sense of right.  — Richard Bach

Hurray!  A spot-on accurate quote from The Ferret Chronicles!  Someone has read my ferret books!  Freeze frame on the Los Angeles freeway at rush hour, say, “Honk if you’ve read The Ferret Chronicles,” and you will hear absolute silence.

One voice, defiant: “I love those stories anyway!” – that’s a quote from me.


4 thoughts on “Famous quotes I didn’t write

  1. I think I’ve solved your question about where the quote, “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit,” began.

    What happened was a writer, Meagan Spooner, asked online where that quote came from, and I got curious and began digging around. Sure enough, thousands of results quoting you on that.

    But the writer had given a different version: “The only difference between a published writer and an unpublished writer is that the published writer didn’t give up.”

    So I searched for that, and a teacher, in a blog comment, said it’s from Elaine Fantle Shimberg.

    I looked her up, and found that very quote in her 1979 book, How to Be a Successful Housewife Writer.


    So how did your name get attached to it? In A Gift of Wings you wrote, “An old maxim says a professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”

    And because quotes catch on better when they’re short, that’s the version people remember and give you credit for.

  2. “Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you’re alive, it isn’t. — Richard Bach”

    Is this quote yours? Because I have loved it forever and think I am going to start reminding folks of this…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *