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

Accepting Nobel Prize, 1962
tagged: work, writing

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More from John Steinbeck

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

How can we live without our lives? How will we know it’s us without our past?

I have owed you this letter for a very long time — but my fingers have avoided the pencil as though it were an old and poisoned tool.

Letter to his literary agent, found on his desk after his death in 1968

You got a god. Don’t make no difference if you don’t know what he looks like.

Men do change, and change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass.