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Ernest Hemingway on Writing (1984) by Ernest Hemingway

"You must be prepared to work always without applause."

Ernest Hemingway on WritingErnest Hemingway on Writing by Ernest Hemingway

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some of my favorite quotes taken from Ernest Hemingway on Writing (1984) written by Ernest Hemingway and edited by Larry W. Phillips. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

QUOTES by HEMINGWAY:

In truly good writing no matter how many times you read it you do not know how it is done. That is because there is a mystery in all great writing and that mystery does not dis-sect out. It continues and it is always valid. Each time you re-read you see or learn something new.
To Harvey Breit, 1952
(page 5)

All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time…
To Mary Welsh, 1945
(page 7)

…writing is something that you can never do as well as it can be done. It is a perpetual challenge and it is more difficult than anything else that I have ever done–so I do it. And it makes me happy when I do it well.
To Ivan Kashkin, 1935
(page 15)

I love to write. But it has never gotten any easier to do and you can’t expect it to if you keep trying for something better than you can do.
To L.H. Brague, Jr., 1959
(page 18)

Dostoevsky was made by being sent to Siberia. Writers are forged in injustice as a sword is forged.
Green Hills of Africa, pg. 71
(page 20)

Ernest Hemingway, American Novelist (1899-1961)

Look how it is at the start–all juice and kick to the writer and cant convey anything to the reader–you use up the juice and the kick goes but you learn how to do it and the stuff when you are no longer young is better than the young stuff–
To F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1929
(page 27)

Since I had started to break down all my writing and get rid of all facility and try to make instead of describe, writing had been wonderful to do. But it was very difficult, and I did not know how I would ever write anything as long as a novel. It often took me a full morning of work to write a paragraph.
A Moveable Feast, pg. 156
(page 33)

Your first seeing of a country is a very valuable one. Probably more valuable to yourself than to any one else, is the hell of it. But you ought to always write it to try to get it stated. No matter what you do with it.
Green Hills of Africa, pg. 193
(page 35)

After a book I am emotionally exhausted. If you are not you have not transferred the emotion completely to the reader. Anyway that is the way it works with me.
To Charles Scribner, Jr., 1952
(page 39)

I even read aloud the part of the novel that I had rewritten, which is about as low as a writer can get and much more dangerous for him as a writer than glacier skiing unroped before the full winter snowfall has set over the crevices.
A Moveable Feast, p. 209
(page 49)

Ernest Hemingway, American Novelist (1899-1961)

Writing it first in pencil gives you one-third more chance to improve it.
By-Line: Ernest Hemingway, p. 216
(page 51)

The more I’m let alone and not worried the better I can function.
To Grace Hall Hemingway, 1929
(page 56)

Do not let them deceive you about what a book should be because of what is in the fashion now.
By-Line: Ernest Hemingway, p. 216
(page 111)

He [the wolf] is hunted by everyone. Everyone is against him and he is on his own as an artist is.
To Harvey Breit, 1952
(page 113)

Only two things you can do for an artist. Give him money and show his stuff. These are the only two impersonal needs.
To Ernest Walsh, 1926
(page 119)

The minute I stop writing for a month or two months and am on a trip I feel absolutely animally happy. But when you are writing and get something the way you want it to be you get a great happiness too–but it is very different; although one is as important as the other to you yourself when you have a feeling of how short your life is.
To Ivan Kashkin, 1936
(page 121)

You must be prepared to work always without applause.
By-Line: Ernest Hemingway, p. 185
(page 139)

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CG FEWSTON

CG FEWSTON has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome (Italy), and a Visiting Fellow at Hong Kong’s CityU. He has a B.A. in English, an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors), and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Fiction. He was born in Texas in 1979.

He’s the author of several short stories and novels. His works include A Fathers Son (2005), The New America: A Collection (2007), Vanity of Vanities (2011), A Time to Love in Tehran (2015), and forthcoming: Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being; Little Hometown, America: A Look Back; A Time to Forget in East Berlin; and, The Endless Endeavor of Excellence.

You can read more about the author on Facebook @ cg.fewston – where he has 350,000+ followers

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