Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Focus: writing

I don’t know when or if I will attempt writing prose again, but lately I have come across some passages and quotes about writing that speak to the writer in me.

I read Abigail Thomas’s book “What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir”. I was disappointed in the book especially considering I loved her book “A Three Dog Life”.

She said some things in What Comes Next that really spoke to the writer in me.

About writing prose: “I had written poems in the seventies, but the poetry dried up. When I tried to write words that went all the way across the page I got discouraged…” 

I can so relate!

She talks about story “grabbing her by the throat” and “ruthlessly using it” as all writers do. That is part of my problem. I don't hear stories. Which is strange because I always relate things in story form. We went to the library to get Jay a new library card and after I explained to the librarian, Jay asked me why do I tell everything like a story. He’s right. I do tell everything like a story. So why don't I hear them? On the rare occasion when I do they seem old or boring.

Here are some quotes on writing that I have come across on pinterest:

“The bigger the issue, the smaller you write. Remember that. You don’t write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid’s burnt socks lying on the road. You pick the smallest manageable part of the big thing, and you work off the resonance.” Richard Price

“Write without fear. Edit without mercy.” Unknown

“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” Natalie Golderg

“Stop in the middle of a sentence, leaving a rough edge for you to start from the next day – that way, you can write three or five words without being “creative” and before you know it, you’re writing.” Cory Doctorow ----I LOVE THIS

“The way it feels to write a book is that you can’t write a book.”  Cheryl Strayed

“Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you need to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.” Steven King

And a delightful quote, not about writing, from a poet who is very dear to me:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver


  1. Very nice! I have to admit, the Stephen King one is the one that speaks to me the most today. But I like the others, too. Thanks for sharing!