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Michael Connelly Quotes

Author Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly quotes: the wealthy writer’s best quotes on work ethic, prolific publishing, dealing with people, overcoming failure, and more.

“How I work is that I write a story I’d like to read.  Then you fly to Paris or Sydney and the interviewers talk about the greater significance of your work.”

“Money.  The ultimate motivation.  The ultimate way of keeping score.”

“I’m going to have to be impressed and feel confident in the people I’m handing a book to — or I’m not going to do it.  Once you hand it to them, you’re out.  You have no control over it.”

“Write every day even if it is just a paragraph.”

“It’s only a wonderful world if you can make it that way.  There are no street signs pointing to Paradise Road.”

“I’m always looking at ways of shaking up the writing experience because I think it helps.”

“I’ve learned over the years that sometimes if you ask the same question more than once you get different responses.”

“That’s the irony in the work: the best stories are the worst things that happen.  My best times were somebody else’s worst.”

“There is nothing you can do about the past except keep it there.”

“I’ve been able to write at least one book a year for 20 years, and I don’t think I would’ve had that kind of drive if I hadn’t come out of the journalism business.”

“You can’t patch a wounded soul with a Band-Aid.”

“It’s lucky no one else knows what our most secret thoughts are.  We’d all be seen for the cunning, self-aggrandizing fools we are.”

“The writing ethic was influenced; when you have to write every day, there’s no such thing as writer’s block.”

“I think books with weak or translucent plots can survive if the character being drawn along the path is rich, interesting, and multifaceted.  The opposite is not true.”

“As a reporter, you develop an ear for dialogue because it’s your job to capture it accurately.”

“There is a means to every end.  A root to any cause.  Sometimes the root is more evil than any cause, though it’s the cause that is usually most vilified.”

“We’re all seeking order.  We’re all seeking control.”

“You know you’re going to get burned from time to time.  It’s just part of the game.  So when it happens you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and forget about it because they’re about to snap the ball again.”

“You know what I did after I wrote my first novel?  I shut up and wrote 23 more.”

“I went into journalism to learn the craft of writing and to get close to the world I wanted to write about — police and criminals, the criminal justice system.”

“I view people two ways.  They’re either eye-for-an-eye people or they are turn-the-cheek people.”

“I don’t think anyone will believe me, but I’ve never been pressured by a publisher to churn out a book.”

“In the long run, all wrongs are righted, every minus is equalized with a plus, the columns are totaled and the totals are found correct.  But that’s in the long run.  We must live in the short run and matters are often unjust there.  The compensating for us of the universe makes all the accounts come out even, but they grind down the good as well as the wicked in the process.”

“What is jealousy but a reflection of your own failures?”

“I’ve sold 11 of my books to Hollywood.  There are all kinds of my books on shelves in Hollywood because the scripts didn’t capture the characters.”

“I love movies.  Movies have influenced me as a writer.”

“I would change very little because I’ve been very fortunate.  A lot of things fell into place for me simply by happenstance.  When that happens you don’t really want to change anything, even if you could.  Editorially my regrets are few and for the most part minor.  I look back on my first published book and think I held on to it too long, babied it too long.”

“The characters I write about are very internal.”

“The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote that when you look into the darkness of the abyss, the abyss looks into you.  Probably no other line or thought more inspires or informs my work.”

“I think there’s a general misconception that anything written quickly lacks quality, and I don’t believe that.”

If you liked Connelly’s quotes, see Sharon Lechter’s quotes next.

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.