"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."
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."Joan Didion on Mark Twain
"The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax."Joan Didion on Albert Einstein
"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."Joan Didion on Colin Powell
"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."Joan Didion on Dale Carnegie
"If there is anything that a man can do well, I say let him do it. Give him a chance."Joan Didion on Abraham Lincoln
"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."
"Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power."