Hemingway on Writing

From Ernest Hemingway’s acceptance speech for the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature:

Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.  Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing.  He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates.  For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.

How simple the writing of literature would be if it were only necessary to write in another way what has been well written.  It is because we have had such great writers in the past that a writer is driven far out past where he can go, out to where no one can help him.

A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it.

Daytona Beach Morning Journal
Dec 11, 1954

Hemingway’s a master (of course) and I don’t doubt that he’s right (I know he is).  But, as an aspiring writer, I hope that writers can get through those lonely moments without feeling too terribly alone.

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