Ernest Hemingway Quotes About Writing, Life and Love

If you’re looking for some inspiration or motivation to start writing , take a look at some of the best Ernest Hemingway quotes. These insightful, and often poignant, sayings will get you thinking.

ernest hemingway quotes

Ernest Hemingway was one of the most influential authors of the twentieth century. He was known for his simple, yet powerful writing style, and his novels and short stories have been read and enjoyed by millions of people. Hemingway was born in 1899, and spent his childhood in Illinois. 

He served in World War I, and then moved to Paris, where he began his literary career. Hemingway married four times, and spent the last years of his life in Idaho. He died in 1961.

Hemingway is best known for his novels, including The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, and For Whom the Bell Tolls. He also won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. Hemingway’s life was full of adventure and he was a World War II veteran. 

He was also a journalist and a sportsman. Hemingway’s writing style was spare and concise, and he is often considered one of the most important American authors of the 20th century.

Hemingway’s legacy is one that is still debated today. Some argue that he was one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, while others claim that his writing was overrated. However, what is not disputed is the impact that Hemingway has had on the literary world.

He was one of the first authors to write about the experience of war and to depict masculinity in a new way. His use of sparse prose and his unique style have been copied by many writers over the years.

Here are some of our favorite Hemingway quotes.

63 Ernest Hemingway Quotes

  1. “The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.”

2. “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.”

3. “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”

4. “There is no friend as loyal as a book.”

5. “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”

6. “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

7. “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”

8. “you can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.”

9. “Never confuse movement with action.”

10. “The first draft of anything is shit.”

11. “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”

12. “An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.”

13. “Fear of death increases in exact proportion to increase in wealth.”

14. “My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”

15. “Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”

ernest hemingway quotes about love

Ernest Hemingway Quotes about Writing and Life

16. “Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.”

17. A beautiful vacuum filled with wealthy monogamists, all powerful and members of the best families all drinking themselves to death.

18. “But life isn’t hard to manage when you’ve nothing to lose.”

19. “The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”

20. “I can’t stand it to think my life is going so fast and I’m not really living it.”

21. “I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”

22. “Courage is grace under pressure.”

23. “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now.”

24. “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”

25. “My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”

26. “But man is not made for defeat,” he said. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”

27. “In order to write about life first you must live it.”

28. “The real reason for not committing suicide is because you always know how swell life gets again after the hell is over.”

29. “When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.”

Famous Ernest Hemingway Quotes

30. “The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.”

31. “So far, about morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.”

32. “We are all broken—that’s how the light gets in.”

33. “It’s silly not to hope. It’s a sin he thought.”

34. “If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it.”

35. “Never to go on trips with anyone you do not love.”

36. “You are so brave and quiet I forget you are suffering.”

37. “Let him think that I am more man than I am and I will be so.”

38. “All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.”

39. “Everyone behaves badly–given the chance.”

40. “Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don’t cheat with it.”

41. “But life isn’t hard to manage when you’ve nothing to lose.”

Mind-Provoking Ernest Hemingway Quotes

42. “The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.”

hemingway quotes

43. “As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.”

44. “Never to go on trips with anyone you do not love.”

45. “I’m not brave any more darling. I’m all broken. They’ve broken me.”

46. “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

47. “When you love you wish to do things for. You wish to sacrifice for. You wish to serve.”

48. “Why do old men wake so early? Is it to have one longer day?”

49. “I didn’t want to kiss you goodbye — that was the trouble — I wanted to kiss you good night — and there’s a lot of difference.”

50. “No one you love is ever truly lost.”

51. “I loved you when I saw you today and I loved you always but I never saw you before.”

52. “When you start to live outside yourself, it’s all dangerous.”

53. “The first and final thing you have to do in this world is to last it and not be smashed by it.”

54. “You know it makes one feel rather good deciding not to be a bitch.”

55. “It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.”

56. “After writing a story I was always empty and both sad and happy, as though I had made love, and I was sure this was a very good story although I would not know truly how good until I read it over the next day.”

57. “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

58. “Going to another country doesn’t make any difference. I’ve tried all that. You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. There’s nothing to that.”

59. “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.”

60. “All stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.”

61. “To an aspiring writer: “You shouldn’t write if you can’t write.”

62. “Living was an earthen jar of water in the dust of the threshing with the grain flailed out and the chaff blowing.”

63. “A serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.”

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