Words matter. These are the best Matt Haig Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
It took me at least all my 20s and some of my 30s to get the confidence to realise I could just write about what I wanted to write about without having to pass a test or look super clever.
If you can’t give children optimism, then what are you doing?
Keep reiterating, again and again, that depression is not something you ‘admit to.’ It is not something you have to blush about; it is a human experience. It is not you. It is simply something that happens to you.
You don’t need the world to understand you. It’s fine. Some people will never really understand things they haven’t experienced. Some will. Be grateful.
I’d love for mental illness to be seen in the way that other horrible illnesses are. When people get cancer, very few parents will say, ‘Oh I feel so bad for giving you so much unhealthy food over the years.’
Books are our umbilical cord to life. They connect us deeply, and with more meaning, to the world. They aren’t about escaping from ourselves but expanding ourselves and finding within us the tools we need to survive.
I think we get too hung up on categories. Obviously, the book market has to categorise things, and it makes it easier for a reader to go into a bookshop and choose, but as a writer, it helps to get rid of all of that and imagine you are a storyteller around a campfire.
Words are the essence of culture. Books are pure essence. They are not for women or for men, but for all of us. Without books, civilisation falls into the dark ages.
When I was young, there was no such thing as YA. You simply went from reading children’s novels to reading adult novels. So one year, I was reading Tove Jansson, and the next year, I was reading Stephen King.
How clear can I put this? I am not denying female oppression; I am trying to stop it by calling for a more fluid masculinity.
There is certainly no one ‘type’ of writer who deliberately draws on Shakespeare. In fact, there’s a strong argument that everyone writing in the English language is influenced by Shakespeare because, to a considerable degree, he shaped that language.
I want life. I want to feel it and live it. I want, for as much of the time as possible in this blink-of-an-eye existence we have, to feel all that can be felt.
There aren’t any fences to the imagination, and so there shouldn’t be any for books.
We often joke about men moaning about being ill, whether it’s man flu or anything else. We want them to be silent and strong about these things. And that’s quite dangerous when it comes to depression, because talking about it helps. People bottle it up until it’s too late.
Books should be right up there with exercise and diet as something that don’t just entertain us but heal us. They tell us we are not alone and fix the pieces of us that can be shattered by reality. They are teachers, and they are friends, and we should never contemplate a world – or a life – without them.
I have never felt oppressed by women or that feminism is a problem. I do think boys find it hard to like things seen as feminine. I want my son not to feel self-conscious he likes ballet and my daughter to carry on playing Han Solo; that’s all.
If you sell the film rights to your book, it doesn’t mean there will be a film. I have sold the rights to five books and had zero films made. Take the money and be thankful.
Thinking about death makes you analyse what life is. Anxiety makes you curious, and curiosity leads to understanding. I wouldn’t be a writer without depression.
Teenagers are philosophers. They are thinking about the big things like existence and identity at a time when their identities are changing so fast.
There are two types of friends: actual friends, and the other kind.
Neuroscience is a baby science, a mere century old, and our scientific understanding of the brain is nowhere near where we’d like it to be. We know more about the moons of Jupiter than what is inside of our skulls.
If you took away all pain, if everyone lived forever, everything would be bland, flat and boring; there would be no reason for art, music, newspapers, love because we would all be in a mono state of happiness.
People, certainly in the U.K., look down on screenwriting as an art form, but I love the discipline of it. Next to the bagginess of novel writing, it almost feels like a martial art.
Like most art forms, writing is part instinct and part craft. The craft part is the part that can be taught, and that can make a crucial difference to lots of writers.
I have always enjoyed vampire stuff without ever having been a full vampire geek. I suppose I love the idea of blood thirst because it can say so much about us, not simply about addiction but about all those desires that can tear a family apart.
The aim of any writer, even a fantasy writer, is the pursuit of truth.
Teenagers watch and listen to all kinds of things. It is the nature of being a teenager to seek out intense stuff. Stuff about death and sex and love and fear. Teenagers are the bravest, most curious, most philosophical, most open-minded readers there are, which is why so many less-than-young adults like writing for them.
It would be lovely to live in a culture where calmness was the aim.
Writing can be fun. I think the challenge is to convey interesting things in accessible ways, and that’s what I aim to do in books.
My early novels were written in quite a dark place. I stand by them, but I would never write them again. I think it is subversive to embrace emotional optimism, because it goes against the grain.
Beware of the gap: the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Simply thinking of the gap widens it, and you end up falling through.
Parents can only do what they think is best, with the experience they have. The learning curve for every parent is that there’s a limit to how much they can shield children from.
At school, I wasn’t as interested in mathematics. I did OK, but at the earliest point I could stop doing math, I stopped.