…just sit down shamelessly and write the thing…
~J. D. Salinger in Seymour: An Introduction
She [Mary, mother of Jesus] was obedient, and the artist, too, must be obedient to the command of the work, knowing that this involves long hours of research, of throwing out a month’s work, of going back to the beginning, or, sometimes, scrapping the whole thing.
~Madeleine L’Engle. I have to say yikes! even though I agree.
They don’t call it a submission for nothing.
It came back in the worst way possible–with a printed note signed “the editors.” Somehow, I know I’ll keep on trying and there won’t be an end to it. The worst thing that can happen is that I will persist and lose. The chances are that I’ll persist and win.
~from the journals of Gail Godwin
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I think my writing is great. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays I think it’s awful. I try to take Sundays off from thinking about it.
~from the journals of Cristy Fossum
There are some days when I feel that we have made a big mistake–always writing what we think, for others to read…
Take it bird by bird Anne Lamott’s father advised her brother, forlorn at the kitchen table with an un-begun project about birds due the next day. Hence, the title for her “instructions on writing and life.” After a family group went to a reading by Lamott, my sister gave each of us a pretty little frame with those words–Bird By Bird–typed on turquoise paper. Sits right here by my computer and inspires me every day, for writing and for life.
A basic truth: The writer/storyteller avoids telling but, instead, shows. ~Hope Clark
Definition of a novel from Julian Barnes: A beautiful, shapely story containing hard, exact lies.
Remember to get the weather in your damn book–weather is very important. ~Ernest Hemingway
Last one, from the bold, brash Annie Dillard. A work in progress quickly becomes feral. It reverts to a wild state overnight. It is barely domesticated, a mustang on which you one day fastened a halter, but which now you can’t catch. It is a lion you cage in your study. As the work grows, it gets harder to control; it is a lion growing in strength. You must visit it every day and reassert your mastery over it. If you skip a day, you are, quite rightly, afraid to open the door to its room. You enter its room with bravura, holding a chair at the thing and shouting, ‘Simba!'” Yeah…
Just sharing about writing. . . any resonance, any reactions, any rhyme or reason?