130 Anaïs Nin Quotes on Life, Passion, and Courage

These Anaïs Nin quotes will immerse you in the works and philosophies of this extraordinary woman you will undoubtedly adore and look up to!

Anaïs Nin was a devoted eroticist, novelist, and author. Throughout her career, she has been a contentious writer and literary figure. Her expressive writing on women’s sexuality seemed to elicit either extreme rage or exaggerated attention.

The quotes below reflect her passionate nature and deep commitment to her passion for writing. Let’s all explore her profound wisdom and insights by reading through the complete list below!

Start reading here.

And don’t forget to check out these James Joyce quotes.

Best Anaïs Nin Quotes

1. “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

2. “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

3. “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”

4. “It’s all right for a woman to be, above all, human. I am a woman first of all.”

5. “Luxury is not a necessity to me, but beautiful and good things are.”

6. “Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.”

7. “Whenever you do something that is not aligned with the yearning or your soul—you create suffering.”

8. “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

9. “The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present.”

10. “Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It creates failures. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.”

Anaïs Nin Quotes That Will Inspire You

11. “Good things happen to those who hustle.”

12. “If you limit yourself only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.”

13. “You cannot save people. You can only love them.”

14. “Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it.”

15. “My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to find peace with exactly who and what I am. To take pride in my thoughts, my appearance, my talents, my flaws, and to stop this incessant worrying that I can’t be loved as I am.”

16. “When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.”

17. “I don’t really want to become normal, average, standard. I want merely to gain in strength, in the courage to live out my life more fully, enjoy more, experience more. I want to develop even more original and more unconventional traits.”

18. “I want to make my own discoveries—penetrate the evil which attracts me.”

19. “Experience teaches acceptance of the imperfect as life.”

20. “Don’t wait for it—create a world, your world. Alone. Stand alone. Create. And then the love will come to you, then it comes to you.”

Also read: Inspirational Quotes, Encouraging Quotes

Anaïs Nin Quotes About Life

21. “Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”

22. “I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason.”

23. “The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself.”

24. “To withhold from living is to die—the more you give of yourself to life, the more life nourishes you.”

25. “Our life is composed greatly of dreams from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together.”

26. “Life is a full circle, widening until it joins the circle motions of the infinite.”

27. “Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity, and stumble from defeat to defeat.”

28. “You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too.”

29. “Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous.”

30. “I watched life and wanted to be a part of it but found it painfully difficult.”

31. “I am the most tired woman in the world. I am tired when I get up. Life requires an effort I cannot make.”

Also read: Quotes to Live By

Deep Anaïs Nin Quotes That’ll Make You Think

32. “Sometimes we reveal ourselves when we are least like ourselves.”

33. “People living deeply have no fear of death.”

34. “The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.”

35. “The secret of joy is the mastery of pain.”

36. “From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life.”

37. “Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for a center. So we lost our center and have to find it again.”

38. “There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.”

39. “Creation which cannot express itself becomes madness.”

40. “Societies in decline have no use for visionaries.”

41. “When one is pretending, the entire body revolts.”

42. “Analysis is for those who are paralyzed by life.”

43. “Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself.”

44. “Since desire always goes towards that which is our direct opposite, it forces us to love that which will make us suffer.”

45. “How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?”

Also read: Meaningful Quotes

Anaïs Nin Quotes That Zoom in on Courage

46. “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

47. “I could be healed by the sheer courage of continuing to live. I could heal myself.”

48. “I don’t understand. I have so much courage, fire, energy, for so many things, yet I get so hurt, so wounded by small things.”

Also read: Courage Quotes

Anaïs Nin Quotes to Give You a Glimpse of Her Views on Love

49. “Do not seek the ‘because.’ In love, there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.”

50. “Where the myth fails, human love begins. Then we love a human being, not our dream, but a human being with flaws.”

51. “Love is the axis and breath of my life. The art I produce is a byproduct, an excrescence of love, the song I sing, the joy which must explode, the overabundance—that is all!”

52. “I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.”

53. “Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.”

54. “You don’t find love, it finds you. It’s got a little bit to do with destiny, fate, and what’s written in the stars.”

55. “I reserve the right to love many different people at once, and to change my prince often.”

56. “If I love you it means we share the same fantasies, the same madnesses.”

57. “Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.”

58. “The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.”

59. “The truly faithless one is the one who makes love to only a fraction of you. And denies the rest.”

60. “Our love of each other was like two long shadows kissing without hope of reality.”

61. “The enemy of love is never outside, it’s not a man or a woman, it’s what we lack in ourselves.”

62. “I want to love you wildly. I don’t want words, but inarticulate cries, meaningless, from the bottom of my most primitive being, that flow from my belly like honey.”

Also read: Love Quotes

Anaïs Nin Quotes Packed With Wisdom

63. “Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terror, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.”

64. “We do not escape into philosophy, psychology, and art―we go there to restore our shattered selves into whole ones.”

65. “The body is an instrument which only gives off music when it is used as a body. Always an orchestra, and just as music traverses walls, so sensuality traverses the body and reaches up to ecstasy.”

66. “We are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.”

67. “It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself, and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing.”

Interesting Anaïs Nin Quotes on Being a Writer

68. “I am resolved to write, write, and write. Nothing can turn me away from a path I have definitely set myself to follow.”

69. “I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live.”

70. “It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.”

71. “If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.”

72. “My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.”

73. “The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.”

74. “I am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing.”

75. “Writers do not live one life, they live two. There is the living and then there is the writing. There is the second tasting, the delayed reaction.”

76. “I want to be a writer who reminds others that these moments exist; I want to prove that there is infinite space, infinite meaning, infinite dimension.”

Anaïs Nin Quotes About Passion

77. “Passion gives me moments of wholeness.”

78. “One must be thrust out of a finished cycle in life, and that leap is the most difficult to make—to part with one’s faith, one’s love, when one would prefer to renew the faith and recreate the passion.”

79. “What everyone forgets is that passion is not merely a heightened sensual fusion but a way of life which produces, as in the mystics, an ecstatic awareness of the whole of life.”

80. “I don’t wish for power, only art—art and passion.”

81. “The fiery moments of passionate experience are the moments of wholeness and totality of the personality.”

82. “The one who travels like a lover searching for a new passion is suddenly blessed with new eyes, new ears, new senses.”

Also read: Passion Quotes

Insightful Anaïs Nin Quotes on Reality and Truth

83. “Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another.”

84. “In reality, those who satisfy me are those who simply allow me to live with my idea of them.”

85. “There are many ways to be free. One of them is to transcend reality by imagination, as I try to do.”

Anaïs Nin Quotes About Dreams

86. “The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison, was a miracle.”

87. “Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again, and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.”

88. “Dreams are necessary to life—and you know not all our dreams are holy, are they, you had some which were not so holy, our dreams are not holy but that does not hurt or change the fundamental soul.”

89. “We are beginning to see the influence of dream upon reality and reality upon dream.”

Anaïs Nin Quotes That’ll Take You Back to Her Most Well-Known Works

90. “We speak of the masculine and the feminine, but they are the wrong labels. It is really more a matter of poetry versus intellectualization.”

91. “Everything with me is either worship and passion or pity and understanding. I hate rarely, though when I hate, I hate murderously.”

92. “A startling white face, burning dark eyes, a face so alive I felt it would consume itself before my eyes. Years ago I tried to imagine true beauty; I created in my mind an image of just such a woman.”

93. “And in his eyes, he had the look of the cat who inspires a desire to caress but loves no one, who never feels he must respond to the impulses he arouses.”

94. “Also, I do not like the companionship of women. They are petty and personal. They hang on to their mysteries and secrets, they act and pretend. I like the character of men better.”

95. “What can I do with my happiness? How can I keep it, conceal it, bury it where I may never lose it?”

96. “When I am happy it is so rare. I need to dwell on it, to contemplate it. What a hunger, a craving for beautiful things.”

97. “There is a resemblance between men and women, not a contrast. When a man begins to recognize his feelings, the two unite. When men accept the sensitive side of themselves, they come alive.”

98. “I am a neurotic—in the sense that I live in my world. I will not adjust myself to the world. I am adjusted to myself.”

99. “What unites us universally is our emotions, our feelings in the face of experience, and not necessarily the actual experiences themselves.”

100. “I do not confess anymore, I have no remorse, yet am I doing penance for my enjoyment?”

101. “We are relatives. We are mature in one realm, childish in another.”

102. “We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially.”

103. “I love her for what she has dared to be, for her hardness, her cruelty, her egoism, her perverseness, her demoniac destructiveness.”

Poetic Anaïs Nin Quotes to Remind You of Her Unique Writing Style

104. “The love of only one man or one woman is an enclosure.”

105. “You should not love me. One ought not to love the moon. If you come too near me, I will hurt you.”

106. “I wept because my eyes were opened to reality. I wept because I could not believe anymore and I love to believe.”

107. “I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.”

108. “Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together.”

109. “Only in the fever of creation could she recreate her own lost life.”

110. “Truth is something which can’t be told in a few words. Those who simplify the universe only reduce the expansion of its meaning.”

111. “I love your silences, they are like mine.”

112. “I am like a snake who has already been bitten. I retreat from a direct battle while knowing the slow effect of the poison.”

113. “I can elect something I love and absorb myself in it.”

114. “I am a winged creature who is too rarely allowed to use its wings.”

115. “Worlds self-made are so full of monsters and demons.”

More Anaïs Nin Quotes to Ponder On

116. “I am only responsible for my own heart, you offered yours up for smashing my darling. Only a fool would give out such a vital organ.”

117. “I hate men who are afraid of women’s strength.”

118. “Introspection is a devouring monster. You have to feed it with much material, much experience, many people, many places, many loves, many creations, and then it ceases feeding on you.”

119. “There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination.”

120. “In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude.”

121. “Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.”

122. “I take pleasure in my transformations. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women there are in me.”

123. “In my childhood diary, I wrote: ‘I have decided that it is better not to love anyone, because when you love people, then you have to be separated from them, and that hurts too much.’”

124. “When others asked the truth of me, I was convinced it was not the truth they wanted, but an illusion they could bear to live with.”

125. “We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.”

126. “She lacks confidence, she craves admiration insatiably. She lives on the reflections of herself in the eyes of others. She does not dare to be herself.”

127. “I will not be just a tourist in the world of images, just watching images passing by which I cannot live in, make love to, possess as permanent sources of joy and ecstasy.”

128. “My life is not possible to tell. I change every day, change my patterns, my concepts, my interpretations. I am a series of moods and sensations. I play a thousand roles. I weep when I find others play them for me. My real self is unknown. My work is merely an essence of this vast and deep adventure.”

129. “You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book—or you take a trip—and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating.”

130. “There are two ways to reach me: by way of kisses or by way of the imagination. But there is a hierarchy: the kisses alone don’t work.”

How Did This Collection Change Your View of the World?

At the age of 11, Anaïs Nin began writing in journals. Her multi-volume work, Diary of Anaïs Nin, became an iconic series of writings in feminist literature.

In line with this, Anaïs Nin’s decision not to have children was one of the most intriguing aspects of her personality. She became pregnant several times and aborted the fetuses each time.

Nonetheless, she taught her readers and fans valuable lessons. She believed that being courageous is essential in shaping our own world and being bold enough to achieve our desired future. Her life experiences are potent reminders that there is always a new world waiting for us.

We hope you were able to learn a thing or two through this collection! Though revolutionary and unique, we’re sure Anaïs Nin’s thoughts and words were able to change your perspective in some way.

Which of her quotes stood out the most for you? Are there any other quotes you’d like us to add to the list? Take part in the discussion below!