„In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write. And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots, the answer, and ask yourself, must I write?“

Source: Letters to a Young Poet

Last update June 3, 2021. History
Rainer Maria Rilke photo
Rainer Maria Rilke175
Austrian poet and writer 1875 - 1926

Related quotes

Rainer Maria Rilke photo

„Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.“

—  Rainer Maria Rilke, book Letters to a Young Poet

Letter One (17 February 1903)
Letters to a Young Poet (1934)
Context: No one can advise or help you — no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.

Rainer Maria Rilke photo
Chi­ma­man­da Ngo­zi Adi­chie photo
Murasaki Shikibu photo
Arundhati Roy photo

„You are writing for yourself.“

—  William Zinsser writer, editor, journalist, literary critic, professor 1922 - 2015

Source: On Writing Well (Fifth Edition, orig. pub. 1976), Chapter 5, The Audience, p. 26.

Margaret Atwood photo

„If you write for yourself, you'll reach all the people you want to write for.“

—  William Zinsser writer, editor, journalist, literary critic, professor 1922 - 2015

Source: On Writing Well (Fifth Edition, orig. pub. 1976), Chapter 12, Writing About Yourself: The Memoir, p. 98.

Hélène Cixous photo

„Censor the body and you censor breath and speech at the same time. Write yourself. Your body must be heard.“

—  Hélène Cixous French philosopher and writer 1937

Source: The Laugh of the Medusa

Gustave Flaubert photo
Jane Roberts photo

„If you want to know what you think of yourself, then ask yourself what you think of others, and you will find your answer.“

—  Jane Roberts American Writer 1929 - 1984

Session 340, Page 25
The Early Sessions: Sessions 1-42, 1997, The Early Sessions: Book 8

Luis Alfaro photo

„I like to diversify, so for me writing an article for a magazine is as exciting as writing a play. And I think if you open yourself up to it, lots of opportunities come forward that are not the opportunities that were going to be yours.“

—  Luis Alfaro Chicano performance artist, writer, theater director, and social activist 1963

On staying open to new opportunities in “The Artist as Leader: Luis Alfaro” https://www.uncsa.edu/kenan/artist-as-leader/luis-alfaro.aspx (Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts)

Taisen Deshimaru photo

„You must not take out your sword because if you try to kill someone, you must die for it yourself. What you must do instead is kill yourself, kill your own mind.“

—  Taisen Deshimaru Japanese Buddhist monk 1914 - 1982

As quoted in A Galaxy Not So Far Away : Writers and Artists on Twenty-five Years of Star Wars (2002) by Glenn Kenny, p. 99

Terry Pratchett photo
Albert Messiah photo

„There were a significant number of questions I had asked myself and, as you know, when you really ask yourself the questions, you give better answers than if we merely read the conventional answers.“

—  Albert Messiah French physicist 1921 - 2013

Il y avait un nombre important de questions que je m'étais posées et, comme vous le savez, lorsqu'on se pose vraiment les questions, on donne de meilleures réponses que si l'on se contente de lire les réponses convenues.
explaining how he came to write his textbook on quantum mechanics, in Descente au coeur de la matière, an interview edited by [Stéphane Deligeorges, Le monde quantique, Editions du Seuil, Sciences et Avenir, 1984, 2020089084, 111]

Gloria E. Anzaldúa photo

„Write with your eyes like painters, with your ears like musicians, with your feet like dancers. You are the truthsayer with quill and torch. Write with your tongues of fire. Don't let the pen banish you from yourself.“

—  Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Speaking in Tongues

"Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to Third World Women Writers" (1981)
Source: in This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, p. 171

Shannon Hale photo
Martial photo

Related topics