Top Quotes from Elizabeth Berg

By | May 6, 2016

Never try to copy other writers, and never try to have a formula. It has to come from your heart and soul.

Elizabeth Berg

I do think that there’s an art form to parenting, and I have nothing but admiration for those who do it well.

Elizabeth Berg

If I don’t feel like writing on a certain day, I just go to the cafe and hang around.

Elizabeth Berg

As for my ‘real life,’ yes, I do have friends who are different from me, and I find it refreshing being around them.

Elizabeth Berg

A ritual or tradition can be as simple as something you do every night, like read a story to a small child, or something you do weekly, such as go out for Chinese food.

Elizabeth Berg

I never meant to write about the experience of losing a good friend to breast cancer when I was going through it. But after it was over, I realized that although something deeply sad had happened, something truly beautiful also had.

Elizabeth Berg

Everybody knows the mother-daughter relationship is one of the most complex there is.

Elizabeth Berg

Everybody complains about getting older, but I find it such a rich time of life. There are negative things about it, I suppose, but more than that, I’m finding it to be a very positive experience in which growth suggests itself in a much more alluring way than it did when I was young – isn’t that funny?

Elizabeth Berg

We’re not just writers; we’re readers probably more than anything else. That’s how you learn how to write and how you learn to appreciate good writing: by reading.

Elizabeth Berg

I loved the ‘Three Stooges.’ I still do – nyuk, nyuk.

Elizabeth Berg

One of the great pleasures in writing ‘The Dream Lover’ was learning about some of the real people who populated George Sand’s life. What a cast of characters! And what a pleasure to recreate them upon the page!

Elizabeth Berg

I think it’s harder – much harder – to be a good parent than to write a book.

Elizabeth Berg

As we continue to become a society of tweets, shorter and shorter messages, there’s great value in the contemplation and reflection that comes from reading a long body of work.

Elizabeth Berg

Traditions are the inventions of people who mean to routinely put love and comfort and meaning into their lives and in the lives of those they live with.

Elizabeth Berg

Really, my sacred place is my study where there are books that I love and things that people have given me.

Elizabeth Berg

Some people read an interesting or provocative newspaper article, and that’s the end of that. A writer reads such an article, and her imagination gets fired up. Questions occur to her. She might feel an urge to finish the story that the article suggests.

Elizabeth Berg

When I look at my own work, I see love, loss, and loneliness. Part of it might be that I was an army brat. I moved around all the time. There was a sense of nothing being permanent.

Elizabeth Berg

My mom used to keep all her Christmas cards in a basket bedecked with red ribbon, and I loved to look at them all and read all the letters.

Elizabeth Berg

The friends in my real life do tend to be smart and funny and creative. I am lucky!

Elizabeth Berg

I can’t decide if I’m a hippie or elegant older woman, a farmer’s wife, a crazy person.

Elizabeth Berg

I just cannot stand an unmade bed.

Elizabeth Berg

I don’t have a medicine cabinet.

Elizabeth Berg

Whenever I write a novel, most of the time it starts with barest slip of an idea.

Elizabeth Berg

When I write a book, I don’t have an idea of what I’m doing. I just go where it leads.

Elizabeth Berg

I never was a big believer that you can teach writing per se.

Elizabeth Berg

When I lived in Boston, I had an office that I rented because I found it wonderful to go away from my house to work: It was so quiet, and I couldn’t go to the refrigerator or do the laundry.

Elizabeth Berg

We’re such imperfect beings. I think that’s more often the case than not.

Elizabeth Berg

In the most self-protective of ways, I don’t think about the reader when I’m writing – I just think about the story.

Elizabeth Berg

I love to listen to people talk, especially when they’re being really honest and they’re not trying to sound any particular way.

Elizabeth Berg

I have always believed in helping people whose work I admire.

Elizabeth Berg

As for the notion that everything has already been said, maybe it has, but life is like meatloaf: there are so many different ways to present it.

Elizabeth Berg

No matter what you write, you need an active imagination.

Elizabeth Berg

Writers have a reputation for being distracted. That’s because writers are distracted. They are always tuned into that other voice, the one in their head that rarely turns off.

Elizabeth Berg

You need a place to work that works for you, and you need people to understand that when you are writing, you are doing a rarefied type of brain surgery and therefore should not be subject to a million random interruptions.

Elizabeth Berg

As a child, I saw my mother prepare for Christmas every year, and it never occurred to me that labor was involved. I thought it was my mother’s joy and privilege to hang tinsel on the tree strand by strand, to make sure that every room in the house had a touch of Christmas, down to the Santa-themed rug and hand towels in the bathroom.

Elizabeth Berg

If there were a category in the Olympics for laundry, my mother would have been a gold-medal winner.

Elizabeth Berg

No, I am not my mother. I am deeply, endlessly grateful for what she did and who she was, but I am a different kind of person.

Elizabeth Berg

It feels like my books come true. I write these things, and then they kind of end up happening. I wasn’t divorced, for example, when I wrote a book about divorce.

Elizabeth Berg

When I lived alone in Chicago, I had a lot of loneliness issues.

Elizabeth Berg

I think Chicago is the best city in the country, hands down, but I don’t like the winter there anymore.

Elizabeth Berg

Every book is its own experience, the writing of it.

Elizabeth Berg

If I could say anything to aspiring writers, it’s to keep your own counsel, first and foremost.

Elizabeth Berg

The process of writing and creating and answering that very unique call inside yourself has nothing to do with agents and sales and all that stuff.

Elizabeth Berg

My favorite splurge is homemade chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream or a Sausage McMuffin with egg or scalloped potatoes or turkey yanked right off the carcass and dipped in gravy or See’s chocolate.

Elizabeth Berg

In writing a novel about George Sand, I hoped to present her as the talented, beguiling, complicated and occasionally infuriating woman I think she was, but I hope, too, that readers will enjoy the people she surrounded herself with.

Elizabeth Berg

It is a happy day when I am asked to publicly recommend a book. It is also a dilemma. When I consider all the books I have loved and depended upon and profited from, how can I pick just one?

Elizabeth Berg

When you have that deep kind of hunger that is part longing, what’s better to eat than the best apple pie? Or the best potato salad and guacamole? Or the best deviled eggs and crab cakes and white chocolate raspberry pie?

Elizabeth Berg

The process is different for every book, but there are similarities. I always draw from the inside out. I don’t plot them ahead of time, and I’m always surprised by things that happen in my books.

Elizabeth Berg

It usually takes about a year to write each book. I don’t plan it that way. I don’t set deadlines. If a book wants to take longer, it can.

Elizabeth Berg

I tend not to write books that are really, really long, and I’m also a pretty fast writer.

Elizabeth Berg

I’m the kind of person who is entertained watching someone simply be themselves, whether they’re putting their children to bed or making dinner or sitting at the table reading the morning newspaper.

Elizabeth Berg

I look to find the heart and soul of people, of my characters. I look for the truth of them and the truths about life that are presented through them.

Elizabeth Berg

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