Top 11 Jewish Quotes for Writers: What Kept Me Writing My Novel, “A Remarkable Kindness”

This post appeared on the Jewish Book Council website and I wanted to share it for all of you who are looking for some inspiring words about writing our best chapter–and living it. I turned to these quotes while writing A Remarkable Kindness. Actually, I turned to these quotes when I was not writing the novel…when I felt stuck. Here it is:

I treat my office like a high school hallway. All over my walls are inspirational quotes to keep me going. Writing is a lonely task: it’s being the Sisyphus of sentences. Every now and then, I pretend to invite imaginary cheerleaders (including my best friend’s daughter) to my office before I sit down to write, with them cheering, “You can do it! Go… WRITE!”

What follows are the top thirteen inspirational Jewish quotes I turn to when I feel like I’ve fallen down that deep, dark chute of writing nothingness.

“In knowing who you are and writing from it, you will help the world by giving it understanding.” — Natalie Goldberg

“Surprising things can happen when you start to pray…” — Jacqueline Osherow

“Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, Grow, grow.” — The Talmud

“Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand.” — Baruch Spinoza

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” — Albert Einstein

“Two strides across, the rest is dark…Life is a fleeting question mark…” — Hannah Senesh

“You become a writer because you need to become a writer. Nothing else.” — Grace Paley

“Take your life into your own hands…” — Erica Jong

“Pessimism is a luxury that a Jew can never allow himself.” — Golda Meir

“Had I not fallen, I would not have arisen. Had I not been subject to darkness, I could not have seen the light.” — Midrash

“If we survived Pharoah, we’ll survive this.” — Meir Arieli

What’s the message? We can–we must–live our own lives as best as we can. The writing blooms the more we live.

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About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is a writer living in northern Israel whose novel, A Remarkable Kindness, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in August. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, and other publications. Her first book, The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker) was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award.
This entry was posted in A Remarkable Kindness, inspiration, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Top 11 Jewish Quotes for Writers: What Kept Me Writing My Novel, “A Remarkable Kindness”

  1. Tom Scott says:

    Diana

    Jenny enjoys your words of encouragement. She is very disciplined with her writing and is also encouraged by the writers group she attends.

    We look forward to your November visit.

    Go Cubs!

    Tom

    Tom Scott District Mgr Legrand 630/864-1669 tom.scott@legrand.us

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • dianabletter says:

      Tom, thank you! Glad to hear that what helps me helps others. See you in November–go Cubs, but do you accept Yankee fans?!?

  2. Thanks for sharing your uplifting quotes, Diana. We all need inspiration. Blessings, Tracy

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