Cheryl Strayed

Literary Birthday – 17 September – Cheryl Strayed

Happy Birthday, Cheryl Strayed, born 17 September 1968.


  1. Writing is part intuition and part trial and error, but mostly it’s very hard work.
  2. The universe, I’d learned, was never, ever kidding. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back.
  3. Whatever happens to you belongs to you. Make it yours. Feed it to yourself even if it feels impossible to swallow. Let it nurture you, because it will.
  4. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.
  5. The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of it.
  6. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realise there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.
  7. Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true any more.
  8. Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it.
  9. You cannot convince people to love you. This is an absolute rule. No one will ever give you love because you want him or her to give it. Real love moves freely in both directions. Don’t waste your time on anything else.
  10. A lot of people go off and have fun adventures, or hard adventures, and their impulse is to write about them right away. What really makes a difference is having some perspective on what happened.
  11. The only way you’ll find out if you ‘have it in you’ is to get to work and see if you do. The only way to override your ‘limitations, insecurities, jealousies, and ineptitude’ is to produce.

Cheryl Strayed is an American memoirist, novelist, and essayist. She is the author of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, Torch, Brave Enough, and Tiny Beautiful things. Follow her on Twitter: @CherylStrayed

Read: Cheryl Strayed’s Advice For Beginner Writers

Source for Image: Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 17th September 2015

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