I had known loneliness before, and emptiness upon the moor, but I had never been a NOTHING, a nothing floating on a nothing, known by nothing, lonelier and colder than the space between the stars. It was more frightening than being dead.
To know you will be lonely is not the same as being lonely.
People do not love those whose eyes show that they are somewhere else
I'm interested in where we are, where we're going, where we've come from.
The declared meaning of a spoken sentence is only its overcoat, and the real meaning lies underneath its scarves and buttons.
Swimming always cleans your soul
Nostalgia is something we think of as fuzzy. But it's pain. Pain concerning the past.
My greatest pleasure is to invent. My continual mad ambition is to make something true and beautiful that never existed in the world before.
Good writing of course requires talent, and no one can teach you to have talent.
I have never begun a novel which wasn't going to stretch me further than I had ever stretched before.
I'm always the one with the activist friends. I've been an activist very little.
I think that thing about the destruction of the world is there all the time, it's there every day when we look out the window.
If you ever read one of my books I hope you'll think it looks so easy. In fact, I wrote those chapters 20 times over, and over, and over, and that if you want to write at a good level, you'll have to do that too.
I don't think you have the right to shout about other people's private life.
I don't separate my books into historical novels and the rest. To me, they're all made-up worlds, and both kinds are borne out of curiosity, some investigation into the past.
I think it's really boring, from the point of view of the novelist, to write about yourself. Tedious. But that's very hard to explain to people who really don't believe in the possibility of invention.
At the very end of a book I can manage to work for longer stretches, but mostly, making stuff up for three hours, that's enough. I can't do any more. At the end of the day I might tinker with my morning's work and maybe write some again. But I think three hours is fine.
I did not know that history is like a blood stain that keeps on showing on the wall no matter how many new owners take possession, no matter how many times we pint over it.
Being famous as a writer is like being famous in a village. It's not really any very heady fame.
Living where I live New York I don't think anyone's going to make a fuss. But it is more deeply satisfying because it's of your place and means that you aren't forgotten; someone's noticed what you have been doing with your life.
Then I fell in love and everything went to hell.
And it's always possible that you will not get a nice review. So - and that's enraging of course, to get a bad review, you can't talk back, and it's sort of shaming in a way.
All our heroes, all our great stories are about failure.
It's like standing on the edge of a cliff. This is especially true of the first draft. Every day you're making up the earth you're going to stand on.
I don't need new boots I got bluchers back down home. Eff the effing bluchers I'll buy you new adjectival effing elastic sided boots.
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