Tobias Wolff Quotes

Tobias imageTobias short story quoteTobias getting things right in life

“There are very few professions in which people just sit down and think hard for five or six hours a day all by themselves. Of course it’s why you want to become a writer — because you have the liberty to do that, but once you have the liberty you also have the obligation to do it.”  Tobias Wolff
“In the very act of writing I felt pleased with what I did. There was the pleasure of having words come to me, and the pleasure of ordering them, re-ordering them, weighing one against another. Pleasure also in the imagination of the story, the feeling that it could mean something. Mostly I was glad to find out that I could write at all. In writing you work toward a result you won’t see for years, and can’t be sure you’ll ever see. It takes stamina and self-mastery and faith. It demands those things of you, then gives them back with a little extra, a surprise to keep you coming. It toughens you and clears your head. I could feel it happening. I was saving my life with every word I wrote, and I knew it.”  Tobias Wolff
Tobias fragment beautyTobias writing dangerous pic of book
“I’m a survivor, ” I said. But I didn’t think that claim would carry much weight in an obituary.”  Tobias Wolff

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4 responses to “Tobias Wolff Quotes

  1. I like the Wolff quotes, but it might be equally true to paraphrase “One of the things that draws writers to writing is that they can get things right that they got wrong in real life. ” It might be equally true to end it with: “…they can get things wrong that they got right in real life.” For those of us who don’t take chances, writings lets us try all of the bad things.

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  2. anne koch

    Thanks Julaina. This is why I write. It’s a kind of personal quest for the beauty of an undiscovered arrangement of words and what they might tell me. Anne

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    • Thanks, Anne, for commenting. Yes, you said it: an undiscovered arrangement of words and what they might tell me. I’d add, and what they tell others. “See” you in the morning with your coffee.

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