Famous Ernest Hemingway Quotes About Life And Insights

This collection of the most quoted Ernest Hemingway quotes will inspire you to look at life differently.

Ernest Hemingway – Author

Ernest Hemingway was a 20th century American author and journalist. He is well-known for his novels The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea. He also won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.

Hemingway’s writing style is often described as sparse and direct. He is considered one of the great American writers of the 20th century.

As might be expected, Ernest Hemingway is one of the most quoted authors of the 20th century. Here are some of his most famous quotes:

Best Ernest Hemingway Quotes

Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.

– Ernest Hemingway

Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. - Ernest Hemingway


My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.

– Ernest Hemingway


Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the Romance of the unusual.

– Ernest Hemingway


Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.

– Ernest Hemingway


There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.

– Ernest Hemingway


There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.

– Ernest Hemingway


It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.

– Ernest Hemingway


Never to go on trips with anyone you do not love.

– Ernest Hemingway

Never to go on trips with anyone you do not love. - Ernest Hemingway


When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.

– Ernest Hemingway

When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen. - Ernest Hemingway


When you start to live outside yourself, it’s all dangerous.

– Ernest Hemingway

When you start to live outside yourself, it’s all dangerous. - Ernest Hemingway


Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.

– Ernest Hemingway

Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know. - Ernest Hemingway


The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.

– Ernest Hemingway


Write the best story that you can and write it as straight as you can.

– Ernest Hemingway


Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.

– Ernest Hemingway


My training was never to drink after dinner nor before I wrote nor while I was writing.

– Ernest Hemingway


Death is like an old whore in a barI’ll buy her a drink but I won’t go upstairs with her.

– Ernest Hemingway


Ernest Hemingway Quotes about Life

Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.

– Ernest Hemingway

Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime. - Ernest Hemingway


After writing a story I was always empty and both sad and happy, as though I had made love, and I was sure this was a very good story although I would not know truly how good until I read it over the next day.

– Ernest Hemingway


As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.

– Ernest Hemingway


We’re stronger in the places that we’ve been broken.

– Ernest Hemingway

We’re stronger in the places that we’ve been broken. - Ernest Hemingway


Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime, you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry: Worry never fixes anything.

– Ernest Hemingway


Yes, I said. Isn’t it pretty to think so?

– Ernest Hemingway


And you’ll always love me won’t you? Yes. And the rain won’t make any difference? No.

– Ernest Hemingway


I can’t stand it to think my life is going so fast and I’m not really living it.

– Ernest Hemingway


There is no friend as loyal as a book.

– Ernest Hemingway

There is no friend as loyal as a book. - Ernest Hemingway


I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.

– Ernest Hemingway


Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.

– Ernest Hemingway


What is moral and what makes you feel good after, and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.

– Ernest Hemingway


All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.

– Ernest Hemingway


They can’t yank a novelist like they can a pitcher. A novelist has to go the full nine, even if it kills him.

– Ernest Hemingway


The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, shit detector.

– Ernest Hemingway


A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it.

– Ernest Hemingway

A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it. - Ernest Hemingway


Quotes by Hemingway

I never had to choose a subject my subject rather chose me.

– Ernest Hemingway

I never had to choose a subject my subject rather chose me. - Ernest Hemingway


Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry: Worry never fixes anything.

– Ernest Hemingway


If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water.

– Ernest Hemingway


Cowards die a thousand deaths, but the brave only die once.

– Ernest Hemingway


When I have an idea, I turn down the flame, as if it were a little alcohol stove, as low as it will go. Then it explodes and that is my idea.

– Ernest Hemingway


The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.

– Ernest Hemingway


The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.

– Ernest Hemingway

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them. - Ernest Hemingway


If a writer stops observing he is finished. Experience is communicated by small details intimately observed.

– Ernest Hemingway


The things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist.

– Ernest Hemingway


Courage is grace under pressure.

– Ernest Hemingway

Courage is grace under pressure. - Ernest Hemingway


A man’s got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book.

– Ernest Hemingway


You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason.

– Ernest Hemingway


We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.

– Ernest Hemingway


As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.

– Ernest Hemingway

As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand. - Ernest Hemingway


If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.

– Ernest Hemingway


All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.

– Ernest Hemingway


Quotes Ernest Hemingway

Going to another country doesn’t make any difference. I’ve tried all that. You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. There’s nothing to that.

– Ernest Hemingway


I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.

– Ernest Hemingway


When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead.

– Ernest Hemingway


When writing a novel, a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.

– Ernest Hemingway


A man can be destroyed but not defeated.

– Ernest Hemingway

A man can be destroyed but not defeated. - Ernest Hemingway


All things truly wicked start from innocence.

– Ernest Hemingway


You shouldn’t write if you can’t write.

– Ernest Hemingway


The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.

– Ernest Hemingway


But man is not made for defeat.

– Ernest Hemingway


You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.

– Ernest Hemingway

You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. - Ernest Hemingway


Don’t you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by and you’re not taking advantage of it? Do you realize you’ve lived nearly half the time you have to live already?

– Ernest Hemingway


The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

– Ernest Hemingway


Oh Jake, Brett said, We could have had such a damned good time together. Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic. He raised his baton. The car slowed suddenly, pressing Brett against me.

– Ernest Hemingway


When I had to write it, then it would be the only thing to do and there would be no choice. Let the pressure build. In the meantime, I would write a long story about whatever I knew best.

– Ernest Hemingway


From things that have happened and from things as they exist and from all things that you know and all those you cannot know, you make something through your invention that is not a representation but a whole new thing truer than anything true and alive, and you make it alive, and if you make it well enough, you give it immortality. That is why you write and for no other reason that you know of. But what about all the reasons that no one knows?

– Ernest Hemingway


It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.

– Ernest Hemingway


Ernest Hemingway Life Quotes

The first and final thing you have to do in this world is to last it and not be smashed by it.

– Ernest Hemingway


The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.

– Ernest Hemingway

The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it. - Ernest Hemingway


For what are we born if not to aid one another?

– Ernest Hemingway


To hell with them. Nothing hurts if you don’t let it.

– Ernest Hemingway


If two people love each other, there can be no happy end to it.

– Ernest Hemingway


God knows I didn’t mean to fall in love with her.

– Ernest Hemingway

Related: 300+ Meaningful Quotes About God And A Power Greater Than Ourselves


Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with that there is.

– Ernest Hemingway


All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.

– Ernest Hemingway


When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.

– Ernest Hemingway


I drink to make other people more interesting.

– Ernest Hemingway

I drink to make other people more interesting. - Ernest Hemingway


Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now.

– Ernest Hemingway


In order to write about life first you must live it.

– Ernest Hemingway

In order to write about life first you must live it. - Ernest Hemingway


Being against evil doesn’t make you good.

– Ernest Hemingway

Being against evil doesn’t make you good. - Ernest Hemingway


Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.

– Ernest Hemingway


No one you love is ever truly lost.

– Ernest Hemingway

No one you love is ever truly lost. - Ernest Hemingway


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