Anne Lamott Quotes

Most popular Anne Lamott Quotes

Laughter is carbonated holiness.


To be great, art has to point somewhere.


Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.


Joy is the best makeup.  Joy, and good lighting.


The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.


Butterflies and birds are like one perfect teaspoon of creation.


It's good to do uncomfortable things. It's weight training for life.


Old age on a good day is a dance we don't know the steps to: we falter.

old age

Trying to reason with an addict was like trying to blow out a lightbulb.


Even though you get the monkey off your back, the circus never really leaves town.

alcohol addiction

Whenever the world throws rose petals at you, which thrill and seduce the ego, beware.


Elizabeth lived by the adage that expectations were disappointments under construction.

disappointment expectation

All of us can sing the same song, and there will still be four billion different renditions.


I seem to hang on to my hates because they help take my mind off the cracked reflection in the mirror.


You get your intuition back when you make space for it, when you stop the chattering of the rational mind.


You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.


I do not at all understand the mystery of grace—only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.


You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
— Anne Lamott


Seeing yourself in print is such an amazing concept: you can get so much attention without having to actually show up somewhere.

why I write

Life is like a recycling center, where all the concerns and dramas of humankind get recycled back and forth across the universe.


My mother has been dead for several years.  But old mothers never die, and they never fade away.  They are too complicated for either.

mother personal mothers and daughters

Having a baby is like suddenly getting the world's worst roommate, like having Janis Joplin with a bad hangover and PMS come to stay with you.


There's an image I've heard people in recovery use—that getting all of one's addictions under control is a little like putting an octopus to bed.


She floated away on the riptide of dementia, ultimately a speck on the horizon, waving for as long as she could to her deeply confused children onshore.


Writing is about hypnotizing yourself into believing in yourself, getting some work done, then unhypnotizing yourself and going over the material coldly.


I wish there were shortcuts to wisdom and self-knowledge: cuter abysses or three-day spa wilderness experiences.  Sadly, it doesn't work that way.  I so resent this.


Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.  You wait and watch and work: you don't give up.


The rational mind doesn't nourish you.  You assume that it gives you the truth, because the rational mind is the golden calf that this culture worships, but this is not true.

rational thinking

We turn toward love like sunflowers to the sun, and then the human parts kick in.  This seems to me the only real problem, the human parts—the body, for instance, and the mind.


A big heart is both a clunky and a delicate thing; it doesn't protect itself and it doesn't hide.  It stands out like a baby's fontanel, where you can see the soul pulse through.


I devoured books like a person taking vitamins, afraid that otherwise I would remain this gelatinous narcissist, with no possibility of ever becoming thoughtful, of ever being taken seriously.

books narcissist

We write to expose the unexposed. If there is one door in the castle you have been told not to go through, you must.  Otherwise, you'll just be rearranging furniture in rooms you've already been in.

writing advice

Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back. You're done.  It doesn't necessarily mean that you want to have lunch with the person.  If you keep hitting back, you stay trapped in the nightmare.


In this dark and wounded society, writing can give you the pleasures of the woodpecker, of hollowing out a hole in a tree where you can build your own nest and say, "This is my niche, this is where I live now, this is where I belong."


All wise people say the same thing: that you are deserving of love, and that it's all here now, everything you need. There's the memoir by ... it must be true—that when you pray, you are not starting the conversation from scratch, just remembering to plug back into a conversation that's always in progress.
— Anne Lamott
While others who have something to say or who want to be effectual, like musicians or baseball players or politicians, have to get out there in front of people, writers, who tend to be shy, get to stay home and still be public.  There are many obvious advantages to this. You don't have to dress up, for instance, and you can't hear them boo you right away.


I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts. All right, one of them does, but we do not like her very much. We do not think she has a rich inner life or that God likes her or can even stand her.