One True Sentence

Hemingway in Paris (1924) Image in Public Domain

Hemingway in Paris (1924) Image is in the Public Domain

Earlier this year, I went on a 1920’s Paris kick and read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, The Paris Wife, The Sun Also Rises, and A Moveable Feast. I had read The Sun Also Rises before, but I had never read Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. To my surprise, I enjoyed getting a glimpse into Hemingway’s creative mind and learning a little about his writing process.

The following is a quote I pulled from the book that I have come back to often. I love how he talks about writing and the looming stress of writer’s block and how he pushes through it day after day. I hope you enjoy.
_ _ _

“It was wonderful to walk down the long flight of stairs knowing that I’d had good luck working. I always worked until I had something done and I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day.

“But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, ‘Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.’ So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say.”

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