Will Self quotes

  • Don't look back until you've written an entire draft, just begin each day from the last sentence you wrote the preceding day. This prevents those cringing feelings, and means that you have a substantial body of work before you get down to the real work which is all in ... the edit.
    -- Will Self

    #Real #Mean #Writing

  • I enjoy doing very high mileages, partly out of masochism and also because I like to feel the shape of the landscape.
    -- Will Self

    #Shapes #Landscape #Enjoy

  • Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.
    -- Will Self

    #Notebook #Memories #Mean

  • We've clearly entered a period in which the analog of text is no longer important or relevant. All text will be electronic. I accept that fact. My house has thousands of books in it, and I've started to look at them completely differently. They now seem to me to be like antiquarian objects. Their use value has become negligible to me because I'm perfectly happy to read on an e-reader.
    -- Will Self

    #Book #House #Important

  • The éminence cerise, the bolster behind the throne.
    -- Will Self

    #Thrones #Behinds

  • A creative life cannot be sustained by approval any more than it can be destroyed by criticism.
    -- Will Self

    #Creative #Criticism #Approval

  • I think of writing as a sculptural medium. You are not building things. You are removing things, chipping away at language to reveal a living form.
    -- Will Self

    #Writing #Thinking #Language

  • I have a healthy appetite for solitude. If you don't, you have no business being a writer.
    -- Will Self

    #Healthy #Solitude #Appetite

  • You know that sickening feeling of inadequacy and over-exposure you feel when you look upon your own empurpled prose? Relax into the awareness that this ghastly sensation will never, ever leave you, no matter how successful and publicly lauded you become. It is intrinsic to the real business of writing and should be cherished.
    -- Will Self

    #Real #Writing #Successful

  • The whole aesthetics of computers very much feeds into my OCD. They fill my head with obsessionalities and my actions become very repetitive. It seems quite inimical to the dreamy state out of which fiction comes which seems so much less causally repetitive than the way one works on computers.
    -- Will Self

    #Fiction #Way #Action

  • Don’t look back until you’ve written an entire draft...
    -- Will Self

    #Looks

  • The great liberty of the fictional writer is to let the imagination out of the traces and see it gallop off over the horizon.
    -- Will Self

    #Imagination #Liberty #Horizon

  • In truth, even if they have an imperfect insight into their own methods, I still slightly mistrust writers of fiction who are assured literary critics; it makes me suspect that they favour the word over the world it should describe. Such scribes fall victim too easily to the solecism of equating style with morality.
    -- Will Self

    #Fall #Style #Fiction

  • In our benighted age, when films about amusement park rides and electronic fidgets scoop the honours, perhaps Hollywood redux is the best we can hope for.
    -- Will Self

    #Age #Amusement #Parks

  • If we bought everything on the Internet, our eyes and mouths and nostrils would probably begin to film over with a tegument - one initially tissue-thin and capable of being removed each morning, but which gradually thickened and hardened until we were imprisoned in our own tiny minds.
    -- Will Self

    #Morning #Eye #Mind

  • If the government announced that it was going to allocate a vast tranche of education funding purely to the pupils at the best public schools, there would be a national outcry - and yet this is precisely what the Olympics represents in terms of sports funding.
    -- Will Self

    #Sports #School #Government

  • Ideologists of all kinds find a strange sort of comfort in the madness of the crowd; it confirms them in their suspicion that history, far from being made by the great mass of individuals - as Marx averred - is rather unmade by a single massive individual, a collective Other, who stands in stark contrast to you and he.
    -- Will Self

    #Crowds #Comfort #Strange

  • I'm very happy for whatever plaudits might come the way of my work, but I never ever sit down to write x with y in view - whether it's a reader, a prize or a sale.
    -- Will Self

    #Writing #Views #Might

  • I'd rather fiddle with my phone for precious seconds than neglect an apostrophe; I'd rather insert a word laboriously keyed out than resort to predictive texting for a - acceptable to some - synonym.
    -- Will Self

    #Phones #Texting #Neglect

  • I am a regular, if not exactly enthusiastic, patron of my local bookshop. I try to buy at least some books there because I cling to the belief that it's important to maintain those businesses which put a human face on the exchange of money for goods and services.
    -- Will Self

    #Book #Important #Trying

  • I think I now understand why it is that the young are so very nostalgic. They have so little by way of personal history that they polish it up and make it shine like a treasured heirloom.
    -- Will Self

    #Thinking #Shining #Littles

  • I don't think in terms of that bizarre tautology 'value for money' in my literary and journalistic work - and nor will I in my academic role. However, if I don't believe I'm helping my students towards a fuller and more empowering relationship with the world, then I'll resign.
    -- Will Self

    #Believe #Thinking #Empowering

  • When anyone starts out to do something creative - especially if it seems a little unusual - they seek approval, often from those least inclined to give it. But a creative life cannot be sustained by approval, any more than it can be destroyed by criticism - you learn this as you go on.
    -- Will Self

    #Giving #Creative #Criticism

  • It is not that sport, over-indulged in, coarsens the mind; it is that it dulls it.
    -- Will Self

    #Sports #Mind

  • Of course, with well-masticated food playing the role of social glue, it's absolutely essential that everyone clear their plate. Sod the starving kiddies in Africa - it's the overfed ones here we need to worry about.
    -- Will Self

    #Worry #Glue #Needs

  • This is the paradox for me: in failure alone is there any possibility of success. I don't think I'm alone in this - nor do I think it's an attitude that only prevails among people whose work is obviously 'creative'.
    -- Will Self

    #Attitude #Thinking #People

  • You may have gathered that I am not the most cheerful of revellers - some characterise me as the death and soullessness of any party but it wasn't always so, believe me.
    -- Will Self

    #Party #Believe #Cheerful

  • Regard yourself as a small corporation of one. Take yourself off on team-building exercises (long walks). Hold a Christmas party every year at which you stand in the corner of your writing room, shouting very loudly to yourself while drinking a bottle of white wine. Then ***** under the desk. The following day you will feel a deep and cohering sense of embarrassment.
    -- Will Self

    #Team #Party #Drinking

  • I'm English enough to feel something of a gut-reaction to modernism, to continental philosophising and anything that smacks of a refusal to pay attention to the forensics: the empirical facts on the ground.
    -- Will Self

    #Attention #Pay #Facts

  • Certainly, for time out of mind, an obsessive dwelling on happier former days has been synonymous with getting older, while it was the juvenescent who rushed with open arms to embrace the future.
    -- Will Self

    #Dwelling #Mind #Getting Older

  • Is there anything more useless than a crouton? I sometimes wake up in the small hours with a start and realise that what's roused me is an overpowering urge to visit violence on its originator.
    -- Will Self

    #Useless #Violence #Wake Up

  • Some people have human muses - mine is a city. I feel a startling ambivalence towards London, but for better or worse my work has come utterly to depend upon it.
    -- Will Self

    #Cities #People #London

  • Political activists of all stripes are usually a wacky bunch, and never more so than in a system like Britain's, where power is effected via the quiescence of the electorate as much as its convictions.
    -- Will Self

    #Political #Stripes #Conviction

  • The high arts of literature and music stand in a curious relationship to one another, at once securely comfortable and deeply uneasy - rather like a long-term marriage.
    -- Will Self

    #Art #Long #Literature

  • As a species, we're addicted to the facile discrimination involved in saying that something or phenomenon is either 'this' or 'that' - how much more uncomfortable that it may well be 'the other'.
    -- Will Self

    #May #Discrimination #Uncomfortable

  • There is something mysteriously powerful that can happen when young, inchoate minds come into contact with older and more worldly ones in a spirit of intellectual and creative endeavour - if I believed in progress, I suppose that's what I'd call it.
    -- Will Self

    #Powerful #Creative #Intellectual

  • Lives don't divide up into chapters. People don't just talk, while nothing's going on in their head, and then respond. You know, none of these things actually happen.
    -- Will Self

    #People #Chapters

  • In my view, the plangent artificiality of a lot of creative work results from the fact that the people who write novels, direct films and put on plays tend to read too many novels, watch too many films and go to too many plays.
    -- Will Self

    #Writing #Views #Play

  • I always wanted to write fiction. Always. As far back as I can remember it's been integral to my sense of myself - everything else was always a displacement activity.
    -- Will Self

    #Writing #Fiction #Remember

  • Without a shadow of doubt, Trafalgar Square has to be one of the most crap urban public spaces in the world.
    -- Will Self

    #Space #Squares #Doubt

  • Once the working classes were in chains, now they're in chain restaurants.
    -- Will Self

    #Class #Restaurants #Chains

  • Like all right-listening folk, I am an implacable enemy of all muzak.
    -- Will Self

    #Enemy #Listening #Folks

  • It could be argued that every age gets the comfort savagery writer it deserves.
    -- Will Self

    #Age #Comfort #Savagery

  • I write because I feel driven to write. I write from a sense of inner necessity. I don't write for anything other than that.
    -- Will Self

    #Writing #Driven #Feels

  • I prefer to write first drafts as soon as possible after waking, so that the oneiric inscape is still present to me.
    -- Will Self

    #Writing #Waking #Firsts

  • As a writer, I'm not convinced that we are the best equipped to understand how we go about the business of literary production.
    -- Will Self

  • I loathe computers more and more, so I have one I can shut down and shelve like a book.
    -- Will Self

    #Book #Down And #Computer

  • I do have a fantasy life in which I can grout bathrooms - but not for a living.
    -- Will Self

    #Bathroom #Fantasy

  • As the render is to the building, and the blueprint to the machine, so sport is to social existence.
    -- Will Self

    #Sports #Machines #Building

  • As a bookish adolescent, I sopped up texts as if I were blotting paper and they were fluid.
    -- Will Self

    #Paper #Fluid

  • A very beautiful young woman once asked me to sign her breasts. That was back when I was a hip young thing - it's been all downhill since then.
    -- Will Self

    #Beautiful #Hips #Young

  • Live life and write about life. Of the making of many books there is indeed no end, but there are more than enough books about books.
    -- Will Self

    #Life #Book #Writing