Anais Nin was light years before her time. She was progressive in her ideas and expressed them through written word from her many published works. Want to broaden your perspective with some thought-provoking words? Allow these Anais Nin quotes to help you do it. Enjoy!
Anais Nin was a French-American diarist, essayist, novelist, and writer who is most known for her published diaries. She wrote several novels, critical studies, essays, short stories, and volumes of erotica.
Born to Cuban parents in France, Nin spent her childhood and early life in Europe before moving to the U.S. where she became an established author.
Nin died of cervical cancer in 1977, in Los Angeles, California. She will always be remembered for her unique expression of femininity, her lyrical style, and her psychological insight.
In honor of the late literary figure, below is our collection of Anais Nin quotes, collected from a variety of sources over the years. When finished, be sure to check out our Gustave Flaubert quotes as well.
Anais Nin Quotes on Love, Travel, Life and Friends
1. “The secret of joy is the mastery of pain.” – Anais Nin
2. “The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself.” – Anais Nin
3. “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” – Anais Nin
4. “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” – Anais Nin
5. “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin
6. “Worlds self made are so full of monsters and demons.” – Anais Nin
7. “Every word you wrote I ate, as if it were manna.” – Anais Nin
8. “To lie, of course, is to engender insanity.” – Anais Nin
9. “Passion gives me moments of wholeness.” – Anais Nin
10. “I hate men who are afraid of women’s strength.” – Anaïs Nin
Anais Nin Quotes about love and instincts
11. “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.” – Anais Nin
12. “Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” – Anais Nin
13. “The same chemicals were used in the cooking as were used on the composition of her own being: only those which caused the most violent reaction, contradiction, and teasing, the refusal to answer questions but the love of putting them, and all the strong spices of human relationship which bore a relation to black pepper, paprika, soybean sauce, ketchup and red peppers.” ― Anaïs Nin
Anais Nin Quotes about life and vision
14. “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.” – Anais Nin
15. “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.” – Anais Nin
16. “The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.” – Anais Nin
17. “There are books which we read early in life, which sink into our consciousness and seem to disappear without leaving a trace. And then one day we find, in some summing-up of our life and put attitudes towards experience, that their influence has been enormous.”― Anaïs Nin
Anais Nin Quotes about friends and love
18. “Do not seek the because – in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.” – Anais Nin
19. “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.” – Anais Nin
20. “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin
If you enjoyed this article, read our collection of Rumi quotes on life, love and strength that will inspire you.
Anais Nin Quotes travel
21. “How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?” – Anais Nin
22. “We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” – Anais Nin
23. “I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” – Anais Nin
Anais Nin Quotes about love and courage
24. “Only in the fever of creation could she recreate her own lost life.” – Anais Nin
Anais Nin Quotes about life
25. “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.” – Anais Nin
26. “Human beings can reach such desperate solitude that they may cross a boundary beyond which words cannot serve, and at such moments there is nothing left for them but to bark.” – Anais Nin
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to check out our collection of solitude quotes to bring you peace.
Anais Nin Quotes about friends
27. “Solitude may rust your words.” – Anais Nin
28. “I only regret that everybody wants to deprive me of the journal, which is the only steadfast friend I have, the only one which makes my life bearable, because my happiness with human beings is so precarious, my confiding moods rare, and the least sign of non-interest is enough to silence me. In the journal I am at ease.”― Anaïs Nin
29. “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.” ― Anaïs Nin
30. “You write while you are alive. You do not preserve them in alcohol until the moment you are ready to write about them.” – Anais Nin
Anais Nin Quotes about travel
31. “I love her for what she has dared to be, for her hardness, her cruelty, her egoism, her perverseness, her demoniac destructiveness. She would crush me to ashes without hesitation. She is a personality created to the limit. I worship her courage to hurt, and I am willing to be sacrificed to it. She will add the sum of me to her. She will be June plus all that I contain.” ― Anaïs Nin
32. “Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.”― Anaïs Nin
33. “Art is the method of levitation, in order to separate one’s self from enslavement by the earth.” – Anais Nin
34. “Life is so fluid that one can only hope to capture the living moment, to capture it alive and fresh … without destroying that moment.” – Anais Nin
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of living life in the moment quotes that will remind you to enjoy life today.
Anais Nin Quotes about love
35. “I’m in love with New York. It matches my mood. I’m not overwhelmed. It is the suitable scene for my ever ever heightened life. I love the proportions, the amplitude, the brilliance, the polish, the solidity. I look up at Radio City insolently and love it. It’s all great, and Babylonian. Broadway at night. Cellophane. The newness. The vitality. True, it is only physical. But it’s inspiring. Just bring your own contents, and you create a sparkle of the highest power. I’m not moved, not speechless. I stand straight, tough and I meet the impact. I feel the glow and the dancing in everything. The radio music in the taxis, scientific magic, which can all be used lyrically. That’s my last word. Give New York to a poet. He can use it. It can be poetized. Or maybe that’s mania of mine, to poetize. I live lightly, smoothly, actively, ears or eyes wide open, alert, oiled! I feel the glow and the dancing in every thing and the tempo is like that of my blood. I’m at once beyond, over and in New York, tasting it fully.” ― Anaïs Nin
36. “The final lesson a writer learns is that everything can nourish the writer.” – Anais Nin
37. “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.” – Anais Nin
Anais Nin Quotes about friends
38. “Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” – Anais Nin
39. “Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments.” – Anais Nin
40. “Some people read to confirm their own hopelessness. Others read to be rescued from it.”― Anaïs Nin
41. “Nothing too long imagined can be perfect in a wordly way.” – Anais Nin
42. “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.”― Anaïs Nin
Anais Nin Quotes about travel
43. “To withhold from living is to die … the more you give of yourself to life the more life nourishes you.” – Anais Nin
44. “I feel that from the very beginning life played a terrible conjurer’s trick on me. I lost faith in it. It seems to me that every moment now it is playing tricks on me. So that when I hear love I am not sure it is love, and when I hear gaiety I am not sure it is gaiety, and when I have eaten and loved and I am all warm from wine, I am not sure it is either love or food or wine, but a strange trick being played on me, an illusion, slippery and baffling and malicious, and a magician hangs behind me watching the ecstasy I feel at the things which happen so that I know deep down it is all fluid and escaping and may vanish at any moment. Don’t forget to write me a letter and tell me I was here, and I saw you, and loved you, and ate with you. It is all so evanescent and I love it so much, I love it as you love the change in the days.” ― Anaïs Nin
45. “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.” – Anais Nin
Anais Nin Quotes and life
46. “Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes one feel as you might when a drowning man holds unto you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.” – Anais Nin
47. “All those who try to unveil the mysteries always have tragic lives. At the end they are always punished.” – Anais Nin
48. “There were always in me, two women at least, one woman desperate and bewildered, who felt she was drowning and another who would leap into a scene, as upon a stage, conceal her true emotions because they were weaknesses, helplessness, despair, and present to the world only a smile, an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest.”― Anaïs Nin
Anais Nin Quotes about love
49. “There are only two kinds of freedom in the world; the freedom of the rich and powerful, and the freedom of the artist and the monk who renounces possessions.”― Anaïs Nin
50. “My life is slowed up by thought and the need to understand what I am living.” – Anais Nin
51. “But I lie. I embellish. My words are not deep enough. They disguise, they conceal. I will not rest until I have told of my descent into a sensuality which was as dark, as magnificent, as wild, as my moments of mystic creation have been dazzling, ecstatic, exalted.” – Anais Nin
52. “I want my eroticism mixed with love. And deep love one does not often experience.” – Anais Nin
53. “You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. 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. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them. If it seems to you that I move in a world of certitudes, you, par contre, must benefit from the great privilege of youth, which is that you move in a world of mysteries. But both must be ruled by faith.”― Anaïs Nin
54. “Whenever you do something that is not aligned with the yearning or your soul—you create suffering.” – Anais Nin
Anais Nin Quotes about travel
55. “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 innocent or naïve, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.” – Anais Nin
56. “Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together.” – Anais Nin
57. “We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of travel quotes to inspire exploration and learning from others.
Thought-provoking Anais Nin quotes
58. “Dreams are necessary to life.” – Anais Nin
59. “I have no brakes on…analysis is for those who are paralyzed by life.”― Anais Nin
60. “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.”― Anaïs Nin
61. “We are going to the moon that is not very far. Man has so much farther to go within himself.”― Anaïs Nin
62. “To think of him in the middle of the day lifts me out of ordinary living.”
― Anaïs Nin
63. “Passion gives me moments of wholeness.”― Anaïs Nin
64. “Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.”― Anais Nin
65. “I am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing.”― Anaïs Nin
66. “Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together.”― Anais Nin
More Anais Nin Quotes
67. “I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.”― Anaïs Nin
68. “I am lonely, yet not everybody will do. I don’t know why, some people fill the gaps and others emphasize my loneliness. In reality, those who satisfy me are those who simply allow me to live with my idea of them.” – Anais Nin
69. “I am only responsible for my own heart, you offered yours up for the smashing my darling. Only a fool would give out such a vital organ.” – Anais Nin
70. “Luxury is not a necessity to me, but beautiful and good things are.” – Anais Nin
71. “The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.” – Anais Nin
72. “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.” – Anais Nin
73. “People living deeply have no fear of death.” – Anaïs Nin
74. “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.” – Anaïs Nin
75. “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.” – Anaïs Nin
Did you enjoy these Anais Nin quotes?
Best known for her contribution to erotic literature, Anais Nin had a lot to say about love. And regardless of her polarizing personality, she is widely regarded as inspirational.
Nin’s volumes of work remain popular despite her death many years ago. Hopefully, the above quotes have inspired you as much as they inspired us.
Which of the above Anais Nin quotes was your favorite? Do you have any other inspirational quotes to add? Tell us in the comment section below.