From Here on Out I'm Only Quoting Joan Didion to My Friends


Joan Didion Quotes For Every Day Use

Joan Didion quotes will have you sounding wise beyond your years.

Didion was known for her skill in writing literary journalism and memoirs. Her quotes and stories are both inspiring and motivational for people from all walks of life. If you just can't think of what to say in the moment, one of these quotes is sure to do the job.

Borrow these quotes by Didion to showcase your intelligence.

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Inspirational Quotes By Joan Didion

  • "A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty."

  • "Grammar is a piano I play by ear."

  • "Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant."

  • "I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind's door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends."

  • "We tell ourselves stories in order to live."

  • "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."

  • "Character - the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life - is the source from which self-respect springs."

  • "I'm not telling you to make the world better, because I don't think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I'm just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave's a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that's what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it."

  • "We tell ourselves stories in order to live...We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the "ideas" with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience."

  • "You have to pick the places you don't walk away from."

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Motivational Quotes By Joan Didion

  • "To have that sense of one's intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference. If we do not respect ourselves, we are on the one hand forced to despise those who have so few resources as to consort with us, so little perception as to remain blind to our fatal weaknesses. On the other, we are pecularily in thrall to everyone we see, curiously determined to live out - since our self-image is untenable - their false notions of us... "

  • "We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were."

  • "The ability to think for one's self depends upon one's mastery of the language."

  • "Water is important to people who do not have it, and the same is true of control."

  • "I know something about dread myself, and appreciate the elaborate systems with which some people fill the void, appreciate all the opiates of the people, whether they are as accessible as alcohol and heroin and promiscuity or as hard to come by as faith in God or History."

  • "I am a writer. Imagining what someone would say or do comes to me as naturally as breathing."

  • "Grief is different. Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life."

  • "I could not count the times during the average day when something would come up that I needed to tell him. This impulse did not end with his death. What ended was the possibility of response."

  • "Writers are always selling somebody out."

  • "In theory momentos serve to bring back the moment. In fact they serve only to make clear how inadequately I appreciated the moment when it was here. How inadequately I appreciated the moment when it was here is something else I could never afford to see."

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Joan Didion Quotes For The Soul

  • "Although I have felt compelled to write things down since I was five years old, I doubt that my daughter ever will, for she is a singularly blessed and accepting child, delighted with life exactly as life presents itself to her, unafraid to go to sleep and unafraid to wake up. Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss."

  • "To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves--there lies the great, singular power of self-respect."

  • "That was the year, my twenty-eighth, when I was discovering that not all of the promises would be kept, that some things are in fact irrevocable and that it had counted after all, every evasion and every procrastination, every mistake, every word, all of it."

  • "A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image."

  • "Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself."

  • "I know why we try to keep the dead alive: we try to keep them alive in order to keep them with us. I also know that if we are to live ourselves there comes a point at which we must relinquish the dead, let them go, keep them dead."

  • "I don't know what I think until I write it down."

  • "Do not whine... Do not complain. Work harder. Spend more time alone."

  • "Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends."

  • "Memory fades, memory adjusts, memory conforms to what we think we remember."

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