Hemingway on Writing

via Dustin Curtis. Earnest Hemingway:

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.

For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.

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.

This is the part that got me: “He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.” But what is success? To me: When I can put into writing the juxtaposition of what goes on in my head and heart, and to have the reader experience just that.