Writer’s Quote Wednesday // Laurie Halse Anderson

Hello friends! Welcome to Writer’s Quote Wednesday, an event hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading. Every week bloggers share their favorite quotes to motivate and inspire one another to keep writing and working toward our goals. My contribution this week is from the New York Times-bestselling author, Laurie Halse Anderson.


Born Laurie Beth Halse on October 3rd, 1961, to Rev. Frank A. Halse Jr. and Joyce Holcomb Halse in Potsdam, New York, she grew up there with her younger sister, Lisa. As a student, she showed an early interest in writing and enjoyed reading—especially science fiction and fantasy—as a teenager, but never envisioned herself becoming a writer.

During Anderson’s senior year, she moved out of her parents’ house at the age of sixteen and lived as an exchange student for thirteen months on a pig farm in Denmark. Afterwars Anderson moved back home to work at a clothing store, earning the minimum wage. This motivated her to attend college.

She attended Onondaga Community College then transferred to Georgetown University in 1981 and graduated in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in languages and linguistics.

Anderson began her career as a freelance journalist and worked at The Philadelphia Inquirer in the early years of her career. During this time, Anderson also began to write children’s and young adult novels. Despite receiving rejection letters, Anderson released her first children’s novel, Ndito Runs, in 1996, based on Kenyan Olympic marathon runners who ran to and from school each day. Later that year, she had her story Turkey Pox published. This story was inspired by her daughter, Meredith, who broke out with chicken pox on Thanksgiving. In 1998, Anderson published No Time For Mother’s Day, featuring the same characters .

Laurie Halse Anderson currently lives in Northern New York with her husband and four children. She writes for kids of all ages and is known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous ALA and state awards. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists.

“Write about the emotions you fear the most.”

Laurie Halse Anderson

I wonder if there are emotions I am afraid of? I don’t remember ever being afraid of them. I have been ashamed of them. I have been frustrated and confused by them. I have struggled with them and dwelled on them. I have been hindered and my plans and goals been disrupted by my emotions. I have hated my emotions. Oh, how I have hated them!

I have also felt thankful for my emotions. I have felt surprised and been amused by my emotions. I have wondered what they mean and whether they are nothing at all or something very grand. I have wondered why they are and how they came to be in all of us. I have wondered where they come from inside me and have searched deep corners in myself to find their source. It still eludes me but I have learned a lot from the exploration.

I don’t write about what I wondered about emotions as much as I’d like but there are a lot of emotions, some quite complicated, at the core of every reason for writing. Fear, joy, passion, pride, hope, bitterness, boredom, love, these are just a few of the reasons why we write. They are also just a few of the things we write about.

What emotions do you feel when you write? And what part do emotion play in what you write? When I write I feel happy, and scared. I feel hopeful, and excited, and sometimes I feel insignificant.

I write about compassion and I write when I feel sorrow or outrage. I write because I want to remind people how to feel even if they are afraid too. The world doesn’t feel as much as it should and what it does feel it refuses to acknowledge.

What are we afraid of?

Biographical information via Goodreads, Wikipedia, and Laurie’s website


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