Lessons for writers: First, work like a maniac because no one else will do it for you. Second, know that art matters. Next, understand that fiction is about transformation and that change is possible. And, finally, make the surface of writing lively, fun-filled, and funny, even if the characters are in excruciating pain.
We should feel excited about the problems we confront and our ability to deal with them. Solving problems is one of the highest and most sensual of all our brain functions.
The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.
The proper response to life is applause.
[Grace Paley] taught me that writing must not be compartmentalized. You don’t step out of the stream of your life to do your work. Work was the life, and who you were as a mother, teacher, friend, citizen, activist, and artist were all the same person. People like to ask me if writing can be taught, and I say yes. I can teach you how to write a better sentence, how to write dialogue, maybe even how to construct a plot. But I can’t teach you how to have something to say.
A successful book is not made of what is in it, but of what is left out of it.
Women never have young minds. They are born three thousand years old.
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
I never am really satisfied that I understand anything, because, understand it as well as I may, my comprehension can only be an infinitesimal fraction of all I want to understand about the many connections and relations which occur to me.
Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.