The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.

Accepting Nobel Prize, 1962
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More from John Steinbeck

I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature.

Accepting Nobel Prize, 1962

Time is the only critic without ambition.

In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.

In diary

A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you.

The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.

In diary