8 Elizabeth Strout Quotes About Writing and for Writers

Fans of Olive Kitteridge have been anxiously awaiting a second Olive novel. To celebrate the release of Olive, Again, here are eight Elizabeth Strout quotes about reading and writing.
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Fans of Olive Kitteridge have been anxiously awaiting a second Olive novel. To celebrate the release of Olive, Again, here are eight Elizabeth Strout quotes about reading and writing.

elizabeth strout quotes

It's tremendously hard work. Yes, I love arranging the words and having them fall on the ear the right way and you know you're not quite there and you're redoing it and redoing it and there's a wonderful thrill to it. But it is hard.

Elizabeth Strout Quotes

I actually see myself in all my characters. In order to imagine what it feels like to be another person I have to use my own experiences and responses to the world.

Elizabeth Strout quotes

I do write by hand. I just think—I don't know, it's a physical thing for me. It's a bodily thing. It literally has to earn its way through my hand.

Elizabeth Strout quotes

I'm writing for my ideal reader, for somebody who's willing to take the time, who's willing to get lost in a new world, who's willing to do their part. But then I have to do my part and give them a sound and a voice that they believe in enough to keep going.

Elizabeth Strout quote

I do reread, kind of obsessively, partly for the surprise of how the same book reads at a different point in life, and partly to have the sense of returning to an old friend.

Elizabeth Strout quotes

I don't think there was a particular book that made me want to write. They all did. I always wanted to write.

I don’t think there’s anybody I write about who I don’t care for deeply in some way, no matter what their behavior is.

Elizabeth Strout quotes
Elizabeth Strout quotes

I don’t think of myself as a fast reader. I just read a lot. When someone else might think, “I might do the dishes,” I don’t. But then the dishes multiply.

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For advice about writing compelling stories, check out this article about writing in medias res.

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