"I'm not sure I have the physical strength to undertake a novel."
"We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot."Joan Didion on Eleanor Roosevelt
"That which does not kill us makes us stronger."Joan Didion on Friedrich Nietzsche
"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."Joan Didion on Helen Keller
"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men."Joan Didion on John F. Kennedy
"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places."Joan Didion on Ernest Hemingway
"Writing fiction is for me a fraught business, an occasion of daily dread for at least the first half of the novel, and sometimes all the way through. The work process is totally different from writing nonfiction. You have to sit down every day and make it up."
"Was it only by dreaming or writing that I could find out what I thought?"
"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."
"Before I'd written movies, I never could do big set-piece scenes with a lot of different speakers - when you've got twelve people around a dinner table talking at cross purposes. I had always been impressed by other people's ability to do that."
"To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves - there lies the great, singular power of self-respect."