Flannery O'Connor Quotes

Most popular Flannery O'Connor Quotes

Conviction without experience makes for harshness.
— Flannery O'Connor

experience

Accepting oneself does not preclude an attempt to become better.

self-acceptance

The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.
— Flannery O'Connor

truth

I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say.
— Flannery O'Connor

writing

There's many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.
— Flannery O'Connor

books funny

Belief, in my own case anyway, is the engine that makes perception operate.

perception beliefs

The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it emotionally.

truth

I don't deserve any credit for turning the other cheek as my tongue is always in it.
— Flannery O'Connor

modesty

A story has to have muscle as well as meaning, and the meaning has to be in the muscle.

stories

I am very handy with my advice and then when anybody appears to be following it, I get frantic.

advice

I think there is no suffering greater than what is caused by the doubts of those who want to believe.

doubt

To expect too much is to have a sentimental view of life and this is a softness that ends in bitterness.

expectation

You may write for the joy of it, but the act of writing is not complete in itself. It has its end in its audience.

writing

Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
— Flannery O'Connor

writers

Success means being heard and don't stand there and tell me you are indifferent to being heard.  Everything about you screams to be heard.

success

In a sense sickness is a place, more instructive than a long trip to Europe, and it's always a place where there's no company, where nobody can follow.

illness

As for Mrs. May, I must have named her that because I knew some English teacher would write and ask me why. I think you folks sometimes strain the soup too thin.
— Flannery O'Connor

critics

Writing is a good example of self-abandonment.  I never completely forget myself except when I am writing and I am never more completely myself than when I am writing.

why I write

Every morning between nine and 12, I go to my room and sit before a piece of paper.  Many times, I just sit there for three hours with no ideas coming to me.  But I know one thing: if an idea does come between nine and 12, I am there ready for it.
Success means being heard and don't stand there and tell me you are indifferent to being heard.  Everything about you screams to be heard. You may write for the joy of it, but the act of writing is not complete in itself. It has its end in its audience.

why I write