Thursday, October 19, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

J. D. Salinger

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There is a marvelous peace in not publishing. ... It's peaceful. Still. Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I live to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure. ... I don't necessarily intend to publish posthumously, but I do like to write for myself. ... I pay for this kind of attitude. I'm known as a strange, aloof kind of man. But all I'm doing is trying to protect myself and my work.
--
Statements to New York Times reporter Lacey Fosburgh, as quoted in Salinger : A Biography (2000) by Paul Alexander; also in If You Really Want to Hear About It : Writers on J.D. Salinger and His Work (2006) by Catherine Crawford

 
J. D. Salinger

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The question we writers are asked most often, the favorite question, is: Why do you write? I write because I have an innate need to write. I write because I can’t do normal work as other people do. I write because I want to read books like the ones I write. I write because I am angry at everyone. I write because I love sitting in a room all day writing. I write because I can partake of real life only by changing it. I write because I want others, the whole world, to know what sort of life we lived, and continue to live, in Istanbul, in Turkey. I write because I love the smell of paper, pen, and ink. I write because I believe in literature, in the art of the novel, more than I believe in anything else. I write because it is a habit, a passion. I write because I am afraid of being forgotten. I write because I like the glory and interest that writing brings. I write to be alone. Perhaps I write because I hope to understand why I am so very, very angry at everyone. I write because I like to be read. I write because once I have begun a novel, an essay, a page I want to finish it. I write because everyone expects me to write. I write because I have a childish belief in the immortality of libraries, and in the way my books sit on the shelf. I write because it is exciting to turn all life’s beauties and riches into words. I write not to tell a story but to compose a story. I write because I wish to escape from the foreboding that there is a place I must go but—as in a dream—can’t quite get to. I write because I have never managed to be happy. I write to be happy.

 
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I want to write — I want to write — I want to write and never never never will. I know it and I am so unhappy and it seems as though nothing else mattered. Whatever I'm doing, it's always there, an ultimate longing there saying, "Write this — write that — write —" and I can't. Lack ability, time, strength, and duration of vision. I wish someone would tell me brutally, "You can never write anything. Take up home gardening!"

 
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There are, first of all, two kinds of authors: those who write for the subject’s sake, and those who write for writing’s sake. The first kind have had thoughts or experiences which seem to them worth communicating, while the second kind need money and consequently write for money.

 
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I’m looking forward to the peace of mind to just write... Songwriting is something that I just fell into. I never expected to love it. But I’ve always had to kind of treat it like a hobby. Now it’s going to feel so good to know that I can just sit down and write.

 
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I love to write and I assure you I write regularly… But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it.

 
J. D. Salinger
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