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Andrew Sullivan Quotes

Andrew Michael Sullivan

Andrew Sullivan quotes: wise words from the writer.

“You just have to keep going.”

“A mind is a wonderful thing to change.”

“The important things are not worth knowing because they are useful. They are worth knowing because they are true.”

“The dirty little secret of journalism is that it really isn’t a profession, it’s a craft. All you need is a telephone and a conscience and you’re all set.”

“I think a blog, to live, really has to be updated probably four or five times a day.”

“In the last 10 years, when the internet was evolving, text and writing suddenly had a huge increase in its reach. And my view is that video will crowd that out and writing will return back to a much more niche situation, and we will return to where we were before without the excitement around writing—as the web becomes basically TV.”

“Blogging is to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud.”

“What I love about the internet and what I try to do on the issues is insist upon the ability to have bad taste if one wants.”

“I’m very passionate about what I believe in and try to say things as graphically as possible.”

“One thing I would say is that I underestimated how different it is when you work for subscriptions as opposed to pageviews. I used to think that I was bigger than all that—that I would never succumb to that kind of crass, commercial-driven, pageview thing. But writing a blog because you want to get people to renew their subscription in a year creates a very different, subtle incentive structure for journalism than if you have to get as many pageviews as possible.”

“The internet is mostly successful because of the ability of people to do whatever they want. That is, innovation happens wherever you are. You can just add things to it and so on, and nobody’s in charge. And that’s scary for a lot of people who want to run things. They want to be in control. They want to make sure that all the rules are followed. But that’s how innovation happens, right? That there’s not a lot of opportunity to keep control over these things. And I’m worried that we’re in an age where people want to clamp down and try to control everything and try to centralize all of the authority. And I think that’s a mistake, because we’re going to lose the opportunity for new innovation. We’re going to lose the opportunity for new things to be invented on the internet. That’s my biggest worry.”

“I got into journalism I guess by accident, really. I originally wanted to be either a politician or an actor, and some would say I’ve ended up conflating all of those roles into a blogger. I actually just got an internship at the Daily Telegraph in London in one of my summers off as a student. And then when I came to America I got an internship at The New Republic, in my second summer here, and I went from intern to editor. I actually worked every job in the magazine before I got the big job, so I kind of knew what the magazine was.”

“I’m a writer by profession and it’s totally clear to me that since I started blogging, the amount I write has increased exponentially, my daily interactions with the views of others have never been so frequent, the diversity of voices I engage with is far higher than in the pre-internet age, and all this has helped me become more modest as a thinker, more open to error, less fixated on what I do know, and more respectful of what I don’t. If this is a deterioration in my brain, then more, please. The problem is finding the space and time when this engagement stops, and calm, quiet, thinking and reading of longer-form arguments, novels, essays can begin. Worse, this also needs time for the mind to transition out of an instant gratification mode, to me, a more long-term, thoughtful calm. I find this takes at least a day of detox. Getting weekends back has helped. But if there were a way to channel the amazing insights of blogging into the longer, calmer modes of thinking, we’d be getting somewhere. I’m working on it.”

“For a writer not to have an editor, or suck up to a publisher, is what every writer since the dawn of man has dreamed of. So it is incredibly liberating. Then there’s the second moment when you realize, ‘Oh my God, it’s liberating—how do I make sure what I’m doing is good, valid, responsible, and accurate?’ Which leads to the third nature of them, which is that I think blogs must be up-front and rather modest with their assertions about what they are doing.”

“I think if someone is writing continuously for 10 years and has not changed their mind about something, there’s something wrong with them. They’re not really thinking.”

“I want to have an idea and let it slowly take shape rather than be instantly blogged.”

“My own view is simply that there are some very basic rules; very simple rules that apply to all writing in a way, which is: don’t lie; if you’re wrong, correct; do not misrepresent; and try and keep oneself intellectually honest—which means, as a writer, the very difficult task in public of admitting you were wrong.”

“I think you earn your reputation for honesty and integrity literally hour-by-hour, and taste for that matter.”

“Something broken can be put back together, but it will never regain the status of being unbroken—of having integrity.”

“When you get rid of the distractions we live with every day—every tweet, every news story, everything to eat, every commercial, every face, and every friend—you realize what you’ve been distracting yourself from. It takes a few days of just being to come into contact with what you’re really feeling.”

“Love is about control and loss of control. In love, we give ourselves up to each other. We lose control or, rather, we cede control to another, trusting in a way we would never otherwise trust, letting the other person hold the deepest part of our being in their hands, with the capacity to hurt it mortally. In love, so many hazardous uncertainties in life are resolved. And with that loss of control comes mutual power, the power to calm, the power to redeem, and the power to hurt.”

“The most successful marriages, gay or straight, even if they begin in romantic love, often become friendships. It’s the ones that become the friendships that last.”

“For me, friendship has always been the most accessible of relationships—certainly far more so than romantic love. Friendship, I learned, provided a buffer in the interplay of emotions, a distance that made the risk of intimacy bearable, a space that allowed the other person to remain safely another person.”

“Unlike a variety of other relationships, friendship requires an acknowledgement by both parties that they are involved or it fails to exist.”

“I’ve always been a pretty candid person. I’m not a very secretive person; I’m not a very discreet person. One of my best friends once described me as pathologically indiscreet.”

“I enjoy being around people who disagree with me; and I enjoy being in non-political contexts and activities.”

“When I was about eight, I asked my mother if it was true that God knows everything about you. When she answered yes, I said, ‘Then there’s no hope for me, mom.'”

“The pied beauty of humanity should not be carved into acceptable and unacceptable based on things that simply make us who we are.”

“I’m gay. I always have been and I always will be, and I’m happy.”

“I believe in the pursuit of happiness. Not its attainment, nor its final definition, but its pursuit. I believe in the journey, not the arrival; in conversation, not monologues; in multiple questions rather than any single answer. I believe in the struggle to remake ourselves and challenge each other in the spirit of eternal forgiveness, in the awareness that none of us knows for sure what happiness truly is, but each of us knows the imperative to keep searching. I believe in the possibility of surprising joy, of serenity through pain, of homecoming through exile.”

“I’m really positive. It’s such a cool time to be alive.”

Related: Sam Harris quotes.

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.