‘I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress.’
‘Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.’
‘Male writers are thought of as “writers” first and then “men”. As for female writers, they are first “female” and only then “writers”.
‘Women then, have not had a dog’s chance of writing poetry. That is why I have laid so much stress on money and a room of one’s own.’
‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.’
‘The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.’
“Name?” The desk clerk said to me politely, her pencil poised.
“Name,” I said vaguely. I remembered and told her.
“Age?” she asked. “Sex. Occupation?”
“Writer,” I said.
“Housewife,” she said.
“Writer,” I said.
“I’ll just put housewife,” she said.
‘I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.’
‘If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.’
‘If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.’
‘Be ruthless about protecting writing days.’
‘Writing a novel is a terrible experience during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay. I’m always irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality and it’s very shocking to the system.’
‘I’ve always known what I’m meant to do. The path of my life has been about discovering what I need to do to support myself as a writer.’
‘Every book is the wreck of a perfect idea.’
‘I try to have reasonably happy endings because I would hate any child to be cast down in gloom and despair; I want to show them you can find a way out of it.’