Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of quotes and thoughts by Joan Didion on magical, thinking, goodbye, white-album, California, life, change, work, self-respect, walk, sky, time and writing.

26 Inspiring Quotes By Joan Didion For Those Scuffling With Their Creative Pursuits

Quick Facts

Famous As: Screenwriter, Novelist, Journalist, Writer, Essayist

Born On: December 5, 1934

Born In: Sacramento

Joan Didion is a prominent American journalist and writer renowned for her screenplays, novels and autobiographical works. She is distinguished for her memoirs and literary journalism. Her thoughts, work, writings, views, and opinions traverse the cultural chaos and disintegration of the country’s morals. The preponderant theme of her works is social and individual fragmentation. She attained the zenith of success for her writings that defined American subcultures for conventional audiences. She bagged in ‘The National Book Award for Nonfiction’ in 2005. She was also a finalist for, ‘Pulitzer Prize’ and ‘National Book Critics Circle Award’ for her book titled, ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’. In order to celebrate the ways she helped us make sense of it all, we have compiled some quotable quotes and sayings by the prolific writer. Read through the quotes and thoughts by Joan Didion from whatever she has said or written in her legendary career.

The apparent ease of California life is an illusion, and those who believe the illusion real live here in only the most temporary way.

Joan Didion

We all survive more than we think we can.

Joan Didion

Of course great hotels have always been social ideas, flawless mirrors to the particular societies they service.

Joan Didion

I have always wanted a swimming pool and never had one.

Joan Didion

You aren't sure if you're making the right decision - about anything, ever.

Joan Didion

We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget.

Joan Didion

You can throw a novel into focus with one overheard line.

Joan Didion

I can remember, when I was in college, irritating deeply somebody I was going out with, because he would ask me what I was thinking and I would say I was thinking nothing. And it was true.

Joan Didion

The fancy that extraterrestrial life is by definition of a higher order than our own is one that soothes all children, and many writers.

Joan Didion

I don't think anybody feels like they're a good parent. Or if people think they're good parents, they ought to think again.

Joan Didion

Nothing I read about grief seemed to exactly express the craziness of it; which was the interesting aspect of it to me - how really tenuous our sanity is.

Joan Didion

Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant.

Joan Didion

You have to pick the places you don't walk away from.

Joan Didion

The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs.

Joan Didion

Late afternoon on the West Coast ends with the sky doing all its brilliant stuff.

Joan Didion

Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power.

Joan Didion

I no longer want reminders of what was, what got broken, what got lost, what got wasted.

Joan Didion

To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves - there lies the great, singular power of self-respect.

Joan Didion

Self-respect is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has a price.

Joan Didion

Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.

Joan Didion

It kills me when people talk about California hedonism. Anybody who talks about California hedonism has never spent a Christmas in Sacramento.

Joan Didion

Yes, but another writer I read in high school who just knocked me out was Theodore Dreiser. I read An American Tragedy all in one weekend and couldn't put it down - I locked myself in my room. Now that was antithetical to every other book I was reading at the time because Dreiser really had no style, but it was powerful.

Joan Didion

Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing. Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors. Every stroke you put down you have to go with. Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still there in the texture of the thing.

Joan Didion

The arrangement of the words matters, and the arrangement you want can be found in the picture in your mind. The picture dictates the arrangement. The picture dictates whether this will be a sentence with or without clauses, a sentence that ends hard or a dying-fall sentence, long or short, active or passive.

Joan Didion

I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind's door at 4 A.M. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends.

Joan Didion

I went on a book tour immediately after 9/11. I was due to leave the following Wednesday, so I just did. It was an amazing thing, because planes hadn't been flying very many days, and I got on this plane and went to San Francisco, and the minute that plane lifted above the clouds, I felt this incredible sense of lightness.

Joan Didion