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Writers have to have a knack for listening.
by Jeanette Winterson

Writers have to have a knack for listening.
I need to be able to hear what is being said to me by the voices I create.
- Jeanette Winterson

I live alone, with cats, books, pictures,
fresh vegetables to cook, the garden,
the hens to feed.
- Jeanette Winterson

I think we still believe that ambition is for boys.
- Jeanette Winterson

However it is debased or misinterpreted,
love is a redemptive feature.
To focus on one individual so that their desires become
superior to yours is a very cleansing experience.
- Jeanette Winterson

 

If we make anything that lasts, it outlives us.
- Jeanette Winterson

I think it would be very foolish not to take the irrational seriously.
- Jeanette Winterson

In my subconscious, my books were part of a single emotional journey.
- Jeanette Winterson

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Whether you want to call it God or the mystery of the
cosmos doesn't matter to me.
- Jeanette Winterson

Ordinary professionalism and 20 years' experience can accomplish a lot,
but it can't access the hidden places.
- Jeanette Winterson

Naked is the best disguise.
- Jeanette Winterson

Many people feel their outer self isn't the whole self.
- Jeanette Winterson

I never cared about money.
- Jeanette Winterson

I wanted to invent myself as a fictional character.
And I did, and it has caused a great deal of confusion.
- Jeanette Winterson

The work that lasts over time is the work which still
speaks to us when all contemporary interest in that work is extinct.
- Jeanette Winterson

Nobody knows anything about Shakespeare the person.
It's all legend, it is all rumor.
- Jeanette Winterson

Quest is at the heart of what I do-the holy grail,
and the terror that you'll never find it,
seemed a perfect metaphor for life.
- Jeanette Winterson

I am not interested in genres.
I am interested in doing the best work I can in whatever medium.
- Jeanette Winterson

My friends and the people who are close to me know what I am.
And that is enough.
- Jeanette Winterson

My characters are always on the outside;
the spotlight's not on them.
But they do get somewhere.
- Jeanette Winterson

The curious are always in some danger.
If you are curious you might never come home.
- Jeanette Winterson

I wanted to write a new fable and see how many rules you could break.
- Jeanette Winterson

Always in my books, I like to throw that rogue element
into a stable situation and then see what happens.
- Jeanette Winterson

I believe in communication; books communicate ideas
and make bridges between people.
- Jeanette Winterson

I hate the word lesbian; it tells you nothing;
its only purpose is to inflame.
- Jeanette Winterson

I like to think the price I paid by being open about my private life helped.
- Jeanette Winterson

I had relationships with men as well as women.
I wasn't choosing; I didn't think I had to.
- Jeanette Winterson

It is helpful for a woman artist not to have a husband.
- Jeanette Winterson

I think people deceive themselves about themselves,
particularly as they get older.
- Jeanette Winterson

London is a small place, and it is very incestuous.
People know where you live.
Everybody is sort of on top of each other.
- Jeanette Winterson

I don't read reviews because by then it's too late -
whatever anyone says,
the book won't change.
It is written.
- Jeanette Winterson

I wanted to cause trouble, but I know now it stays with you.
- Jeanette Winterson

They say that every snowflake is different.
If that were true, how could the world go on? How could
we ever get up off our knees? How could we ever recover from the wonder of it?
- Jeanette Winterson

What you risk reveals what you value.
- Jeanette Winterson

We shall all die, and our lives will be irrelevant then.
- Jeanette Winterson

I hated historical novels with fluttering cloaks.
- Jeanette Winterson

I don't write for any group.
I write to bring about a change in consciousness.
- Jeanette Winterson

Your weak point is the open, vulnerable place where you can always be hurt.
Love, in all its aspects, opens the self so fully.
- Jeanette Winterson

If you continually write and read yourself as a fiction,
you can change what's crushing you.
- Jeanette Winterson

What's invisible to us is also crucial for our own well-being.
- Jeanette Winterson

Confidence and superiority: It's the usual fundamentalist stuff:
I've got the truth,
and you haven't.
- Jeanette Winterson

Creative work is incredibly difficult,
and that is where the tests lie.
- Jeanette Winterson

Everything in writing begins with language.
Language begins with listening.
- Jeanette Winterson

Whatever is powerful to you can be translated into
something which will matter to somebody that you will never know.
- Jeanette Winterson

I like to look at how people work together when they
are put into stressful situations,
when life stops being cozy.
- Jeanette Winterson

I'm not a quitter.
- Jeanette Winterson

My books always begin with a sentence and an image -
not necessarily connected.
- Jeanette Winterson

With animal behavior, they're all fine until you introduce
some rogue element into the cage,
and then they go crazy.
- Jeanette Winterson

I think heterosexuality and homosexuality are a kind of psychosis,
and the truth is somewhere in the middle.
- Jeanette Winterson

I don't believe in happy endings.
- Jeanette Winterson

Art saved me; it got me through my depression and self-loathing,
back to a place of innocence.
- Jeanette Winterson

I never wanted children.
If I'd been deeply in love with a man and he'd wanted children,
it would have been difficult.
- Jeanette Winterson

I don't understand why people talk of art as a luxury
when it's a mind-altering possibility.
- Jeanette Winterson

Life gives you enough hard knocks so it's unlikely
you'll stay that sure of yourself.
- Jeanette Winterson

One room is always enough for one person.
Two rooms is not enough for two people.
That is one of the conundrums in life.
- Jeanette Winterson

When it is time to get to work, I go away completely
and don't do anything except the work.
And that can be 16 hours a day.
- Jeanette Winterson

To create a past that seemed authentic but would be a fiction,
you need an invented language.
- Jeanette Winterson

There are so many separate selves; no one who writes
creatively hasn't felt that.
- Jeanette Winterson

I am a writer who happens to love women.
I am not a lesbian who happens to write.
- Jeanette Winterson

You never give away your heart; you lend it from time to time.
If it were not so, how could we take it back without asking?
- Jeanette Winterson

Anything outside marriage seems like freedom and excitement.
- Jeanette Winterson

You play.
You win.
You play.
You lose.
You play.
- Jeanette Winterson

Academics love to make theories about a body of work,
but each book consumes the writer and is the sum of his or her world.
- Jeanette Winterson

I didn't mind being unpopular at school,
because everyone else was a heathen.
- Jeanette Winterson

To me, life, for all its privations,
is a luminous thing.
You have to risk it.
- Jeanette Winterson

No one ever found wisdom without also being a fool.
Writers, alas, have to be fools in public,
while the rest of the human race can cover its tracks.
- Erica Jong

One cannot have wisdom without perspective,
but once gaining perspective, one attains wisdom.
Wisdom is the ability to view every situation
as each person who is in any way affected
by that situation might view it.
Wisdom benefits from having a knowledge of history,
and therefore a historical perspective,
as well from as having the perspective of imagination -
the realm of the what-might-be
inhabited by futurists and science-fiction writers.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

When you take stuff from one writer it's plagiarism;
but when you take it from many writers,
it's research.
- Wilson Mizner

Writers write.
Dreamers talk about it.
- Jerry B. Jenkins

I know many writers who first dictate passages,
then polish what they have dictated.
I speak, then I polish - occasionally I do windows.
- Edward Koch

I went on a long trip through South America with Prince
Charles where I was the only journalist there -
a couple of photographers but no other writers.
- Anthony Holden

On the other hand, at some level the mass of unresolved
issues in Northern Ireland does influence the fact
that there are so many good writers in the place.
- Paul Muldoon


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