A Writer's Diary Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
A Writer's Diary A Writer's Diary by Virginia Woolf
4,872 ratings, 4.17 average rating, 254 reviews
Open Preview
A Writer's Diary Quotes Showing 1-30 of 47
“I will not be "famous," "great." I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one's self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“Arrange whatever pieces come your way.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“Yes, I deserve a spring–I owe nobody nothing.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“I enjoy almost everything. Yet I have some restless searcher in me. Why is there not a discovery in life? Something one can lay hands on and say “This is it”? My depression is a harassed feeling. I’m looking: but that’s not it — that’s not it. What is it? And shall I die before I find it?”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“The most important thing is not to think very much about oneself. To investigate candidly the charge; but not fussily, not very anxiously. On no account to retaliate by going to the other extreme -- thinking too much.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“My mind turned by anxiety, or other cause, from its scrutiny of blank paper, is like a lost child–wandering the house, sitting on the bottom step to cry.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“...I'm terrified of passive acquiescence. I live in intensity.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“If one is to deal with people on a large scale and say what one thinks, how can one avoid melancholy? I don’t admit to being hopeless, though: only the spectacle is a profoundly strange one; and as the current answers don’t do, one has to grope for a new one, and the process of discarding the old, when one is by no means certain what to put in their place, is a sad one.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“The way to rock oneself back into writing is this. First gentle exercise in the air. Second the reading of good literature. It is a mistake to think that literature can be produced from the raw. One must get out of life...one must become externalised; very, very concentrated, all at one point, not having to draw upon the scattered parts of one's character, living in the brain.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“I am I: and I must follow that furrow, not copy another. That is the only justification for my writing, living.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“So I have to create the whole thing afresh for myself each time. Probably all writers now are in the same boat. It is the penalty we pay for breaking with tradition, and the solitude makes the writing more exciting though the being read less so. One ought to sink to the bottom of the sea, probably, and live alone with ones words.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“I don't believe in ageing. I believe in forever altering one's aspect to the sun. Hence my optimism. And to alter now, cleanly and sanely, I want to shuffle off this loose living randomness: people; reviews; fame; all the glittering scales; and be withdrawn, and concentrated.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“What a vast fertility of pleasure books hold for me! I went in and found the table laden with books. I looked in and sniffed them all. I could not resist carrying this one off and broaching it. I think I could happily live here and read forever.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“Now is life very solid or very shifting? I am haunted by the two contradictions. This has gone on forever; goes down to the bottom of the world -- this moment I stand on. Also it is transitory, flying, diaphanous. I shall pass like a cloud on the waves. Perhaps it may be that though we change, one flying after another, so quick, so quick, yet we are somehow successive and continuous we human beings, and show the light through. But what is the light?”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
tags: life
“I want to resemble a sort of liquid light which stretches beyond visibility or invisibility. Tonight I wish to have the valor and daring to belong to the moon”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“But how entirely I live in my imagination; how completely depend upon spurts of thought, coming as I walk, as I sit; things churning up in my mind and so making a perpetual pageant, which is to be my happiness.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“And now more than anything I want beautiful prose. I relish it more and more exquisitely.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“Unpraised, I find it hard to start writing in the morning; but the dejection lasts only 30 minutes, and once I start I forget all about it. One should aim, seriously, at disregarding ups and downs; a compliment here, a silence there;[...] the central fact remains stable, which is the fact of my own pleasure in the art.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“But what is more to the point is my belief that the habit of writing thus for my own eye only is good practice. It loosens the ligaments. Never mind the misses and the stumbles.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“I know this room too well - this view too well - I am getting it all out of focus, because I can't walk through it.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“...and to forget one's own sharp absurd little personality, reputation and the rest of it, one should read; see outsiders; think more; write more logically; above all be full of work; and practise anonymity. Silence in company; or the quietest statement, not the showiest; is also "medicated" as the doctors say. It was an empty party, rather, last night. Very nice here, though.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“The idea has come to me that what I want now to do is to saturate every atom. I mean to eliminate all waste, deadness, superfluity: to give the moment whole; whatever it includes. Say that the moment is a combination of thought; sensation; the voice of the sea. Waste, deadness, come from the inclusion of things that don't belong to the moment; this appalling narrative business of the realist: getting on from lunch to dinner: it is false, unreal, merely conventional.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“As I write, there rises somewhere in my head that queer and very pleasant sense of something which I want to write; my own point of view...”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“I like reading my own writing. It seems to fit me closer than it did before.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“I was thinking between 3 and 4 this morning, of my 55 years. I lay awake so calm, so content, as if I'd stepped off the whirling world into a deep blue quiet space and there open eyed existed, beyond harm; armed against all that can happen.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“But what little I can get down into my pen of what is so vivid to my eyes, and not only to my eyes; also to some nervous fibre, or fanlike membrane in my species.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“I note however that this diary writing does not count as writing, since I have just re-read my year's diary and am much struck by the rapid haphazard gallop at which it swings along, sometimes indeed jerking almost intolerably over the cobbles.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“Thus I hope to have kept the sound of the sea and the birds, dawn and garden subconsciously present, doing their work under ground.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“...to use the little kick of energy which opposition supplies to be more vigorously oneself.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
“Oh and I thought, as i was dressing, how interesting it would be to describe the approach of age, and the gradual coming of death. As people describe love. To note every symptom of failure: but why failure? To treat age as an experience that is different from the others; and to detect every one of the gradual stages towards death which is a tremendous experience, an not as unconscious, at least in its approaches, as death is.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary
tags: death

« previous 1