Concurrences on Writing

“I believe I could never exhaust the supply of material lying within me. The deeper I plunge, the more I discover. There is no bottom to my heart and no limit to the acrobatic feats of my imagination.”
–Anais Nin, Oct. 1921, The Early Diaries of Anais Nin

“No. you don’t write for yourself or for others. You write out of a deep inner necessity. If you are a writer, you have to write, just as you have to breathe, or if you’re a singer you have to sing. But you’re not aware of doing it for someone. This need to write was for me as strong as the need to live. I needed to live, but I also needed to record what I lived. It was a second life, it was my way of living in a more heightened way.”
–Anais Nin, interview 1973, “The Artist as Magician”

“This is certain: I never have written a line except to please myself….Good or bad, popular or unpopular, lasting or ephemeral, the words I have put down on paper were the best words I could summon at the time to express the thing I wanted more than anything to say.”
–Edna Ferber, A Peculiar Treasure, 1939

“Why one writes I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live….I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living.

We also write to heighten our own awareness of life. We write to lure and enchant and console others. We write to serenade our lovers. We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection. We write, like Proust, to render all of it eternal, and to persuade ourselves that it is eternal. We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it. We write to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth. We write to expand our world when we feel strangles, or constricted, or lonely. We write as the birds sing, as the primitives dance their rituals. If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it. When I don’t write, I feel my world shrinking. I feel I am in a prison. I feel I lose my fire and color. It should be a necessity, as the sea needs to heave, and I call it breathing.”
–Anais Nin, In Favor of the Sensitive Man and Other Essays, 1976

“In the right sense, imagination is a response to what is going on–a sensitiveness to which outside things appeal. It is a composition of sympathy and observation.”
–Willa Cather, interview 1915, Lincoln Daily Star

“Nevertheless, I am resolved to write, write, and write. Nothing can turn me away from a path I have definitely set myself to follow.”
–Anais Nin, 1921 entry, The Early Diaries of Anais Nin

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply