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Top 40 John Dufresne Quotes (2024 Update)

John Dufresne Quote: “The purpose of the first draft is not to get it right, but to get it written.”
John Dufresne Quote: “Revision is not the end of the creative process, but a new beginning. It’s a chance not just to clean up and edit, but to open up and discover. The energetic prose comes about from all the energy that went into crafting it, I suppose.”
John Dufresne Quote: “The landscape of childhood shapes us as it shapes the characters in our stories. You never forget the sacred places of your childhood.”
John Dufresne Quote: “I write with a fountain pen. And then revise word by word and line by line so that the first draft of a scene is usually the tenth or so draft.”
John Dufresne Quote: “I revise like crazy. I start revising before the pen hits the paper.”
John Dufresne Quote: “The facts, however, are unimportant in fiction. It’s not the events of my life that I mine, but the emotional experiences I’ve had.”
John Dufresne Quote: “Novels are written, not wished into existence. You have to sit your ass in the chair or nothing gets done.”
John Dufresne Quote: “With each draft, the work gets better, and usually that means tighter. It means getting the precise word, not the approximate word.”
John Dufresne Quote: “Love is anticipation and memory, uncertainty and longing. It’s unreasonable, of course. Nothing begins with so much excitement and hope and pleasure as love, except maybe writing a story. And nothing fails as often, except writing stories. And like a story, love must be troubled to be interesting.”
John Dufresne Quote: “The regional tags are often pejorative and dismissive. Don’t think of place-bound stories, in other words, but of stories with a strong sense of place.”
John Dufresne Quote: “A pure love is a selfless love, but can desire ever be selfless?”
John Dufresne Quote: “You lose a wallet or keys or something and you notice in a second, but your life can go missing and you don’t even know it.”
John Dufresne Quote: “A lack of narrative structure, as you know, will cause anxiety.”
John Dufresne Quote: “In revision, your imagination becomes deeply engaged with your material. It’s when you come to know your characters and begin to perceive their motivations and values.”
John Dufresne Quote: “Pleasure is, after all, a luxury. It’s love that’s essential.”
John Dufresne Quote: “It’s easier to write about a place sometimes when you’ve left it, when you can apply your imagination to your memory and let your emotions guide the writing about a place.”
John Dufresne Quote: “Drug programs began to turn their attention and money away from prevention and into maintenance. Methadone was cheaper than social workers, I suppose.”
John Dufresne Quote: “What you create when you’re teaching fiction writing is a kind of literary salon, not a social club or a mutual admiration society, not a debating society, not a repair shop, not a fight club or a soap box. It’s a place to have a conversation about a story.”
John Dufresne Quote: “I had begun what I thought might be a career in social work. I was married and deeply involved in the anti-war movement. I thought I’d go about saving the world one person at a time. I worked with kids, teenagers mostly, in neighborhood centers, on the streets, and eventually in a drop-in center.”
John Dufresne Quote: “We read novels because we need stories; we crave them; we can’t live without telling them and hearing them. Stories are how we make sense of our lives and of the world. When we’re distressed and go to therapy, our therapist’s job is to help us tell our story. Life doesn’t come with plots; it’s messy and chaotic; life is one damn, inexplicable thing after another. And we can’t have that. We insist on meaning. And so we tell stories so that our lives make sense.”
John Dufresne Quote: “Every person in therapy has a love disorder.”
John Dufresne Quote: “If you think about it, fiction is nothing more than gossip about the people you’ve made up.”
John Dufresne Quote: “I was always writing. I just didn’t know if I was any good.”
John Dufresne Quote: “Writing a story, you understand, is not done by consensus. But we do learn from each other, and we remind ourselves how important this work we’re doing is.”
John Dufresne Quote: “Place is character. And all writing is regional.”
John Dufresne Quote: “Reading is also a creative activity if you’re doing it right. You can learn more from a story that’s left the tracks than from a successful story.”
John Dufresne Quote: “I grew up in a house without many books. The books the nuns made us read in school didn’t interest me.”
John Dufresne Quote: “As a writer you can and should expect to hear conflicting responses to your story.”
John Dufresne Quote: “Fiction begins with the senses, and the senses go to work in a place.”
John Dufresne Quote: “I told her how I thought you could always revise your life, how you could work and work on it, finesse the details, see if what you’re saying is what you wanted to be saying.”
John Dufresne Quote: “I sat around the kitchen every Sunday afternoon listening to my mother and aunts talk about the people in the neighborhood. Gossip – I loved it. And that turns out to be the writer’s job: to attend to the gossip and spread it as far as you can.”
John Dufresne Quote: “You will feel discouraged; you will lose confidence in your abilities; you will be bored with the characters–and the only way to overcome these obstacles is to write your way through them. And writing always works.”
John Dufresne Quote: “I lost my job and started painting houses with a friend. The marriage had ended about the same time the career did.”
John Dufresne Quote: “At the heart of all good fiction and at the heart of all good gossip is the same thing: trouble.”
John Dufresne Quote: “Love is always a surprise and you never get it right.”
John Dufresne Quote: “And life is but a dream... Things happened in life, and you felt them, but it was all in your mind, the colors, the fear and anxiety. People surrounded you and houses did, and towns, but what you saw was not so important as what you felt. Life was one thing after another, a brief insanity, a series of inexplicable transitions that seemed at the time sensible, but at second sight ridiculous, a succession of unconnected incidents, accidental relationships.”
John Dufresne Quote: “I think I’ve learned to be mindful. I may not have taken the time to try to understand narrative techniques, let’s say, with any rigor, if I did not also have to try to explain those techniques to someone else.”
John Dufresne Quote: “We all sleep with the corpses of our dead lovers.”
John Dufresne Quote: “Every act of loving affirms the goodness of the lover just because he is capable of loving and being loved.”
John Dufresne Quote: “Actually, my first literary heroes were the Romantic poets, so I began to get serious by writing poems. I have notebooks full of them that I cherish but am afraid to look at.”
John Dufresne Quote: “I learned to love stories by listening to them.”
John Dufresne Quote: “There were the fairy tales my father told to me at bedtime. All the standards. I thought my father invented wolves.”
John Dufresne Quote: “Memory is a rascal.”
John Dufresne Quote: “I was reading for understanding. I wanted to do to a reader what Salinger did for me.”
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