Work, as we usually think of it, is energy expended for a further end in view; play is energy expended for its own sake, as with children's play, or as manifestation of the end or goal of work, as in "playing" chess or the piano. Play in this sense, then, is the fulfillment of work, the exhibition of what the work has been done for.
(Northrop Frye (1912-1991), Canadian critic. The Great Code: The Bible in Literature, ch. 5, Harcourt Brace (1983).)
Do not put off your work until tomorrow and the day after. For the sluggish worker does not fill his barn, nor the one who puts off his work; industry aids work, but the man who puts off work always wrestles with disaster.
(Hesiod (c. 8th century B.C.), Greek didactic poet. Works and Days, 410.)
The woman and the genius do not work. Up to now, woman has been mankind's supreme luxury. In all those moments when we do our best, we do not work. Work is merely a means to these moments.
(Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 10, p. 188, selection 5, number 11, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Unpublished fragments dating to November 1882February 1883.
Originally meant to be attributed to Zarathustra in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.)
As for work, without it, without painstaking work, any writer or artist definitely remains a dilettante; there's no point in waiting for so-called blissful moments, for inspiration; if it comes, so much the betterbut you keep working anyway.
(Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev (1818-1883), Russian author. Letter, June 16, 1876, to V. L. King. Turgenev: Letters, ed. David Lowe (1983).)
... idleness is an evil. I don't think man can maintain his balance or sanity in idleness. Human beings must work to create some coherence. You do it only through work and through love. And you can only count on work.
(Barbara Terwilliger (b. c. 1940), U.S. unemployed woman. As quoted in Working, book 7, by Studs Terkel (1973).
A single woman with an independent income, she was not working. In her younger years, she had held various jobs.)