Top 80 + Joan Didion Quotes That Will Inspire Yourself


Trying to read Joan Didion Quotes will help you get a sense of her distinct and funny narrative style. Joan Didion was an American writer who was born on December 5, 1934, and died on December 23, 2021. Her career began in the 1950s when she won a Vogue magazine essay contest. Her work from the 1960s through the late 1970s immersed readers in the reality of the 1960s counterculture and the Hollywood lifestyle.

Moving, combined with her anxiety problems, made it difficult for her to establish friendships and form connections, so she focused most of her childhood on reading and learning. This paid off when, in 1956, she won a Vogue-sponsored contest and was awarded a job as a research assistant at Vogue.Her political work frequently focused on the undercurrents of political and social discourse. These Joan Didion quotes will empower you.

For years, Joan Didion’s writings have provided hope, bravery, and inspiration. That’s why I’ve chosen 40 of her most famous comments to remind us that our challenges aren’t unique to us; they’re part of the human experience.

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Joan Didion Quotes On Love


We are the stories we tell ourselves.

We tell ourselves stories to live.

I don’t know what I think until I write it down.

I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be.

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

We tell ourselves stories to live. We live entirely by the impression of a narrative line upon disparate images, the shifting phantasmagoria, which is our experience.

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

Life changes in an instant. The ordinary instant.

When the ground starts moving, all bets are off.

We write to discover what we think.

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Grammar is a piano I play by ear.

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

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.

Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing.

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

Read, learn, work it up, and go to the literature.

New York was no mere city. It was instead an infinitely romantic notion.

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

Joan Didion Quotes Year Of Magical Thinking


There’s a point when you go with what you’ve got. Or you don’t go.

Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it.

I was in love with New York. I do not mean ‘love’ in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you and never loves anyone quite that way again.

The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it.

Writers are only rarely likable.

We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were.

That no one dies of migraine seems, to someone deep into an attack, an ambiguous blessing.

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Writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind.

To have that sense of one’s intrinsic worth that constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything.

Quite often you want to tell somebody your dream, your nightmare. Well, nobody wants to hear about someone else’s dream, good or bad; nobody wants to walk around with it. The writer is always tricking the reader into listening to the dream.

If you want to understand what you’re thinking, you kind of has to work it through and write it. And the only way to work it through, for me, is to write it.

I know what the fear is.

I wanted to be an oceanographer. It’s a way of going underwater.

I am a writer. Imagining what someone would say or do comes to me as naturally as breathing.

He was an outsider who lived by his ability to manipulate the inside.

Joan Didion Quotes On Writing


The writer is always tricking the reader into listening to their dream.

The wind shows us how close to the edge we are.

A single person is missing from you, and the whole world is empty.

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

What makes Iago evil? Some people ask. I never ask.

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

The ability to think for one’s self depends upon one’s mastery of the language.

What does it cost to lose those weeks, that light, the very nights in the year preferred over all others? Can you evade the dying of brightness? Or do you evade only its warning?

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

People tend to forget that my presence runs counter to their best interests. And it always does. Writers are always selling somebody out.

Everything goes. I am working very hard at not thinking about how everything goes.

Marriage is memory, marriage is time.

Memory fades, memory adjusts, and memory conforms to what we think we remember.

Anything worth having has its price.

You had to feel the swell change. You had to go with the change. He told me that.

I did consider marriage and motherhood extreme and doomed commitments.

To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is, a dissatisfaction with self.

The impulse for much writing is homesickness.

In terms of work, I never felt that I’d done it right. I always want to have done it differently, to have done it better, in a different way.

Joan Didion Quotes We Tell Ourselves Stories


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

Novels are almost like music I think my pieces get more and more complex.

Memories are what you no longer want to remember.

I know why we try to keep the dead alive: we try to keep them alive to keep them with us.

Short stories demand a certain awareness of one’s intentions and a certain narrowing of the focus.

I’ve never been keen on open adoption.

I’m totally in control of this tiny, tiny world right there at the typewriter.

Was it only by dreaming or writing that I could find out what I thought?

Some of us who live in arid parts of the world think about water with reverence others might find excessive.

It occurs to me that we allow ourselves to imagine only such messages as we need to survive.

We all have the same dreams.

There’s a general impulse to distract the grieving person – as if you could.

You don’t carve it, it’s not like a piece of sculpture, it’s more watercolor.

I always aim for reading in one sitting.

I lead a very conventional life.

It’s hard to find a book that’s safe to write.

Democracy Joan Didion Quotes


Water under the bridge and dynamite it behind you.

To have that sense of one’s intrinsic worth which consists that self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love, and remain indifferent. California is a place in which a boom mentality and a sense of Chekhovian loss meet in uneasy suspension.

A young woman with long hair and a short white halter dress walks through the casino at the Riviera in Las Vegas at one in the morning. It was precisely this moment that made Play It As It Lays begin to tell itself to me.

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.

Vegas is the most extreme and allegorical of American settlements, bizarre and beautiful in its venality and its devotion to immediate gratification.

I work every day. I do something every day.

Becoming a parent is terrifying. A lot of people have that feeling about their dogs.

Why do you always have to be right? I closed the box and put it in a closet. There is no real way to deal with everything we lose.

One thing in my defense, not that it matters: I know something Carter never knew or Helene, or maybe you. I know what nothing means, and keep on playing.

Water is important to people who do not have it, and the same is true of control.

I know what nothing means, and keep on playing.

I am what I am. To look for reasons is beside the point.

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, a world without end.

Water under the bridge and dynamite it behind you.

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