Skip to main content

6 John Updike Quotes for Writers and About Writing

Here are 6 John Updike quotes for writers and about writing from the author of The Witches of Eastwick, Gertrude and Claudius, and the Rabbit novels. In these quotes, Updike covers storytelling, poetry, success, and more.

Born on March 18, 1932, in Reading, Pennsylvania, John Updike is the author of more than 50 novels, poetry collections, short-story collections, and nonfiction books. He is one of four authors to win the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction more than once (both times for his Rabbit novels). In addition to being an author, Updike was also a literary and art critic.

(More quotes for writers from many more writers.)

We've collected six quotes from a previous Writer's Digest interview with Updike. In these quotes, Updike covers storytelling, poetry, success, and more.

6 John Updike Quotes for Writers and About Writing

John Updike Quotes | It never gets easier.

"It never gets easier. But, I've written enough now that I wonder if I'm not in danger of having said my say and of repeating myself."

John Updike quotes | It's a rare life so dull that no crisis ever intrudes.

"It's a rare life so dull that no crisis ever intrudes."

John Updike quotes | Many are called, few are chosen, but it might be you.

"Many are called, few are chosen, but it might be you."

*****

WD-90th-Annual-2020-LaunchLogos-1100x615(1)

Enter Writer's Digest's Annual Writing Competition featuring nine categories, including rhyming poetry, non-rhyming poetry, personal essay, and more; each with first place prizes of $1,000, second place prizes of $500, third place prizes of $250, and more. Plus, an overall Grand Prize of $5,000, an interview in Writer's Digest magazine, and more.

Click to continue.

*****

John Updike quotes | Poetry makes you a little more sensitive to the word-by-word interest of prose.

"Poetry makes you a little more sensitive to the word-by-word interest of prose."

John Updike quotes | We're past the age of heroes and hero kings.

"We're past the age of heroes and hero kings. If we can't make up stories about ordinary people, who can we make them up about?"

(Exploring Star Wars and the Hero's Journey.)

John Updike quotes | When I reread myself, it's the poetry I tend to look at.

"When I reread myself, it's the poetry I tend to look at. It's the most exciting to write, and it's over the quickest."

Willaims, 11:26

Preslaysa Williams: On Finding Hope in Romance

Award-winning author Preslaysa Williams discusses the process of writing her new romance novel, A Sweet Lowcountry Proposal.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26

For the 2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Day 26 requires a second thought.

12 Books That Make Perfect Gifts This Holiday Season

12 Books That Make Perfect Gifts This Holiday Season

Here are 12 books released in 2022 that make perfect gifts this holiday season for the reader in your life.

Writing a Nonfiction Crime Story in a Literary Style

Writing a Nonfiction Crime Story in a Literary Style

Rigorous research, incorporating  authentic dialogue, and adding details from true-to-life moments, author Deborah Larkin shares how she wrote a nonfiction crime story in a literary style.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 25

For the 2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Day 25 gets serious.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Make a Deal

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Make a Deal

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character make a deal.

5 Rules of Ethical Journalism

5 Rules of Ethical Journalism

Alison Hill shares five rules of ethical journalism and shines a light on why more and more people may be growing weary of journalism and journalists.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 24

For the 2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Day 24 considers what it's all for.

12 Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing Your Cookbook

12 Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing Your Cookbook

Cookbook author Deanna Martinez-Bey shares 12 pros and cons of self-publishing your cookbook to help you make the best choice for you and your manuscript.