You have to simply love writing, and you have to remind yourself often that you love it.

— Susan Orlean

The most off-limits Susan Orlean quotes that are proven to give you inner joy

Libraries are what is best about us as a society: open, exciting, rich, informative, free, inclusive, engaging.

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There's a marvelous sense of mastery that comes with writing a sentence that sounds exactly as you want it to.

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In my perfect world, we would establish perhaps four national zoos of unimpeachable quality and close the rest of them.

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I don't like hiking with convicts carrying machetes.

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I never thought very many people in the world were very much like John Laroche, but I realized more and more that he was only an extreme, not an aberration - that most people in some way or another do strive for something exceptional, something to pursue, even at their peril, rather than abide an ordinary life.

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When we stopped to rest and Tony tried to figure out what was wrong with his compass, I asked him what he thought it was about orchids that seduced humans so completely that they were compelled to steal them and worship them and try to breed new and specific kinds of them and then be willing to wait for nearly a decade for one of them to flower.

3

Among all life forms, there are creatures with charisma and creatures without.

It's one of those ineffable qualities we can't quite define, but we all seem to respond similarly to.

3

The first thing I think about when I wake up most mornings is the fact that I’m tired.

3

I would argue that it might be easier to endure loneliness than to endure the idea that you might disappear.

2

I think coexisting with another life form is a very rich experience.

It's why people keep plants and animals.

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Animals can seem more pure. Without complication, I mean, animals are selfless. What animals do for us, they do out of instinct.

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My inspiration is really very simple: I'm struck by things that I want to know more about. I really do react just as a curious person: who is this person? What's the story behind this situation? Why do people like this or dislike this thing?

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About Susan Orlean

Quotes 49 sayings
Profession Journalist
Birthday October 31, 1955

I love Japanese design and fabrics. I also love people who make clothes for mass consumption but do it well and cleverly.

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There's a marvelous sense of mastery that comes with writing a sentence that sounds exactly as you want it to. It's like trying to write a song, making tiny tweaks, reading it out loud, shifting things to make it sound a certain way... Sometimes it feels like digging out of a hole, but sometimes it feels like flying. When it's working and the rhythm's there, it does feel like magic to me.

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Buying a car used to be an experience so soul-scorching, so confidence-splattering, so existentially rattling that an entire car company was based on the promise that you wouldn't have to come in contact with it.

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I think the real reason is that life has no meaning.

I mean, no obvious meaning. You wake up, you go to work, you do stuff. I think everybody's always looking for something a little unusual that can preoccupy them and help pass the time.

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We're fascinated by animals because it's almost like having Martians living among us. We can see some familiarity in them, but they're entirely different creatures.

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An ordinary life examined closely reveals itself to be exquisite and complicated and exceptional, somehow managing to be both heroic and plain.

0

I didn't want to talk, and I didn't think dogs could solve my problems.

But they were so uncritical and un-judgmental. Sometimes when you're really blue, you don't want to talk, but you want that sense of companionship. I certainly enjoy that with my beasts.

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The lesson we have yet to learn from dogs, that could sustain us, is that having no apprehension of the past or future is not limiting but liberating.

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I can imagine a future in which real books will exist but in a more limited, particular way.

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I really believed that anything at all was worth writing about if you cared about it enough, and that the best and only necessary justification for writing any particular story was that I cared about it.

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I'm much more willing to buy a novel electronically by someone I don't know.

Because if halfway through I think, I don't really like this, I can just stop. I can't throw books out, even if I think they're crummy. I feel like I've got to give it to the library. I've got to loan it to somebody, or I keep it on my shelf. It's like a plant.

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If you had really loved something, wouldn't a little bit of it always linger?

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Like writing, running is so much about mind over matter.

There are times when you have to override the discomfort and keep pushing. That capacity to endure and then prevail is just amazing.

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Writing about someone well known removes that obligation of defending it as a subject, but it also means that some of the surprise and freshness is already gone. It's so different - in some ways much harder for me.

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I have worked on PCs and on Macs and, while I have my preferences, I don't find it crippling to work on one rather than the other.

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I think on a day-to-day basis, what attracts us in coexisting with another living, evolving thing, is that you have a relationship that's different than with a piece of furniture. We experience the cycle of life through these other beings.

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When you're researching you're learning. When you're writing, you're teaching.

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Sometimes I think I've figured out some order in the universe, but then I find myself in Florida

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The world is so huge that people are always getting lost in it.

There are too many ideas and things and people too many directions to go. I was starting to believe that the reason it matters to care passionately about something is that it whittles the world down to a more manageable size. It makes the world seem not huge and empty but full of possibility.

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I think the responsibility of running a huge business, which happens if you become a successful designer, probably makes you more careful.

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I've definitely taken a lot of consolation from animals in my life.

There have been times when I've been really sad, and they gave solace and comfort and companionability more than a person.

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I love convincing a reader that an unusual or seemingly ordinary subject is worth his or her time - it's part of the fun for me as a writer.

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I approach stories as a private educational enterprise: I want to learn about something. I teach myself through research, reporting, and thinking, and then, when I feel like I know the story, I tell it to readers.

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I suppose I do have one embarrassing passion- I want to know what it feels like to care about something passionately.

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Most writing doesn’t take place on the page; it takes place in your head.

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I think part of a hero construct is overcoming loss, or being abandoned, or having to make your own way in the world.

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The fact that dogs are not people means you don't have as much response to the particulars.

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You have to appreciate the spiritual component of having an opportunity to do something as wondrous as writing. You should be practical and smart and you should have a good agent and you should work really, really hard. But you should also be filled with awe and gratitude about this amazing way to be in the world.

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Being a good designer certainly doesn't guarantee that you're good at business.

It's probably more surprising when the two talents coexist in one person.

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I like the idea that people get engaged thinking about design, about creativity.

I don't see how it could possibly be bad.

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Writing about fashion forces you to overcome the nagging feeling that fashion doesn't "matter", that it's trivial or fleeting. I just look at it anthropologically, which is different from the way I'd write about art.

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Parents, it seems, have an almost Olympian persistence when it comes to suggesting more secure and lucrative lines of work for their children who have the notion that writing is an actual profession. I say this from experience.

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The biggest problem with working at a treadmill desk: the compulsion to announce constantly that you are working at a treadmill desk.

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Orchid hunting is a mortal occupation.

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Writing about unknown people means I spend a lot of time arguing to the reader about why it's worth knowing about them. That's challenging, but then the piece is pure discovery.

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I've used Twitter now and again to try to figure something out;

it's an amazing resource. But I think you have to use it judiciously: it's a self-selected group, so it's important not to start thinking of it as the whole world.

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