- Writing a book is a bit like surfing. Most of the time you’re waiting. And it’s quite pleasant, sitting in the water waiting. But you are expecting that the result of a storm over the horizon, in another time zone, usually, days old, will radiate out in the form of waves. And eventually, when they show up, you turn around and ride that energy to the shore. It’s a lovely thing, feeling that momentum. If you’re lucky, it’s also about grace. As a writer, you roll up to the desk every day, and then you sit there, waiting, in the hope that something will come over the horizon. And then you turn around and ride it, in the form of a story.
- I don’t think the novelist has any more moral obligation than any other citizen, but I think all citizens, you know, live in a moral universe and I think they’re responsible, morally, for all their actions.
- The best I can hope for is that I’m moved by the experience of living through the writing of the book, which takes infinitely longer than it takes to read, and that if I still have some residual feeling about everyone in the book then maybe there’s some hope. Mind you, I am so over them by the time I’m finished that there’s not much feeling. They’re like people that I used to love.
- It's the pointless things that give your life meaning. Friendship, compassion, art, love. All of them pointless. But they're what keeps life from being meaningless.
- We rise to a challenge and set a course. We take a decision. You put your mind to something. Just deciding to do it gets you halfway there. Daring to try.
- Everyone will tell you your goal is impossible, pointless, stupid, wasteful. So you hang tough. You back yourself and only yourself.
Winton is an Australian novelist and short story writer. His books include Cloudstreet, The Riders and Dirt Music.
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