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Seven Quotes By Joan Didion

Joan Didion, Photo Credit: Unknown

Joan Didion was a remarkable writer, but her musings on how to live life and what it means to be a writer sustain me. Here are 7 quotes that have been etched into my heart and mind:


You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.


I’m just telling you to live [in the world]. 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.


I don’t know what I think until I write it down.


We tell ourselves stories in order to live.


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


Do not whine… Do not complain. Work harder. Spend more time alone.


There is a point where you go with what you got. Or you don’t go.

There is a kind of sadness that happens when the luminaries in your life pass away. It’s a strange type of grief that feels inexplicable. A friend of mine often reminds me that time is relentless. And it is. But one can get through almost anything with the passage of time.

We’ll have solved most of the enduring heartbreaks in our lives if we master when to hold on and let go. It’s easier to do the former, but more often the latter is the answer. The trick is to become more discerning, and I think that only comes with time and experience.

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