Home Inspiration Diana Athill on laziness

Diana Athill on laziness

by J. C. Greenway
on laziness
Share 10mh on Social Media

A perfect quote from Diana Athill, on laziness, taken from her first memoir, Instead of a Letter:

It was at school that my secret sin was first brought into the open: laziness. I was considered a clever girl, but lazy. It has been with me ever since, and the guilt I feel about it assures me that it is a sin, not an inability… I slide off sideways, almost unconsciously, into doing something else, which I like doing…

So often have I proved that this form of self-indulgence ends by making my life less agreeable rather than more so that my inability to control it almost frightens me; but that I should ever get the better of it now seems, alas, most unlikely.

Diana Athill on laziness, from Instead of a Letter

As the world gets busier, perhaps sharing a gift for laziness is no bad thing. And although Instead of a Letter was Diana Athill’s first memoir, she would go on to publish many more books looking at a life well lived among the things she liked doing, so perhaps it is fair to say that she wasn’t all that lazy!

Have you read any of Diana Athill’s books? I would choose Stet as my favourite, as it reminisces over the authors she was involved in publishing, but there are still a few more for me to read. Let me know your favourites in the comments.

Share 10mh on Social Media

Related Articles


Richard Polhill (@richardpolhill) 25 September 2013 - 12:35 pm

I think she wrote that from inside my head.

Joanne Greenway 6 October 2013 - 1:32 pm

It definitely struck a nerve…


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.