Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting. They were coming toward where the flag was and I went along the fence. Luster was hunting in the grass by the flower tree.
All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.
Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out the window.
Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do.
Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries
or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
Given a choice between grief and nothing, I’d choose grief.
Be scared. You cant help that. But don’t be afraid. Aint nothing in the woods going to hurt you unless you corner it, or it smells that you are afraid. A bear or a deer, too, has got to be scared of a coward the same as a brave man has got to be.
I never know what I think about something until I read what I’ve written on it.
The artist doesn’t have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews. The ones who want to write don’t have the time to read reviews.
Topics: Critics, Criticism
When my horse is running good, I don’t stop to give him sugar.
I believe that man will not merely endure; he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among the creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of kindness and compassion.
Topics: Kindness, Optimism
The great weight of the ship may indeed prevent her from acquiring her greatest velocity; but when she has attained it, she will advance by her own intrinsic motion, without gaining any new degree of velocity, or lessening what she has acquired.
People need trouble—a little frustration to sharpen the spirit on, toughen it. Artists do; I don’t mean you need to live in a rat hole or gutter, but you have to learn fortitude, endurance. Only vegetables are happy.
I have found that the greatest help in meeting any problem with decency and self-respect and whatever courage is demanded, is to know where you yourself stand. That is, to have in words what you believe and are acting from.
- Saul Bellow Canadian-born American Novelist
- Bernard Malamud American Novelist
- Philip Roth American Novelist
- John Steinbeck American Novelist
- Toni Morrison American Novelist
- William Styron American Novelist
- Pearl S. Buck American Novelist
- Nelson Algren American Novelist
- Ernest Hemingway American Author
- James A. Michener American Novelist