Annie Dillard (b. April 30): “Many writers do little but sit in small rooms recalling the real world.”

30 Apr

Annie Dillard, born 30 April 1945, is an American poet, essayist, and novelist known for her intensely poetic and precise prose. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1975 for her collection of narrative essays, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

Quotes on writing:

  1. I worked so hard all my life, and all I want to do now is read.
  2. All my books started out as extravagant, and ended up pure and plain.
  3. Many writers do little else but sit in small rooms recalling the real world.
  4. If you’re going to publish a book, you’re probably going to make a fool of yourself.
  5. Society places the writer so far beyond the pale that society does not regard the writer at all.
  6. I do not so much write a book as sit up with it, like a dying friend. I hold its hand and hope it will get better.
  7. Every book has an intrinsic impossibility, which its writer discovers as soon as his first excitement dwindles.
  8. At its best, the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace. It is handed to you, but only if you look for it.
  9. It is no less difficult to write a sentence in a recipe than sentences in Moby Dick. So you might as well write Moby Dick.
  10. One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.


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