Friday, January 30, 2009

Luci Shaw:

A poem is a little lens through which we can examine at close range some of the details of the universe.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Will Self:

...I have a healthy appetite for solitude. If you don't, you have no business being a writer.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

John Updike (1932 - 2009):

On publication:

I still love books coming out. I love the smell of glue and the shiny look of the jacket and the type, and to see your own scribbles turned into more or less impeccable type. It's still a great thrill for me...

Taken from a June 12, 2004 interview with Academy of Achievement

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jonathan Safran Foer:

I try not to speak to my extended family before I write, because that just clouds everything up.

Monday, January 26, 2009

E. M. Forster:

The poet wrote the poem, no doubt. But he forgot himself while he wrote it, and we forget him while we read.... We forget, for ten minutes, his name and our own, and I contend that this temporary forgetfulness, this momentary and mutual anonymity, is sure evidence of good stuff.

Friday, January 23, 2009

C. S. Lewis:

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Anne Lamott:

...we may notice amazing details during the course of a day but we rarely let ourselves stop and really pay attention. An author makes you notice, makes you pay attention, and this is a great gift. My gratitude for good writing is unbounded; I'm grateful for it the way I'm grateful for the ocean.

Bird by Bird, p. 15

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Luci Shaw:

What makes a poet a poet? The slender antenna of awareness combing the air for messages.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

T. S. Eliot:

Poetry may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate; for our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Donald Miller:

I...understand every writer has a responsibility to tell the truth, and to lead a way through tension, toward peace, whether that peace is internal or external.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

C. S. Lewis:

Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

William Strunk Jr.:

Vigorous writing is concise.

The Elements of Style

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Grace Paley:

You become a writer because you need to become a writer - nothing else.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Anne Morrow Lindbergh:

Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Anne Lamott:

Writing can give you what having a baby can give you: it can get you to start paying attention, can help you soften, can wake you up.

Bird by Bird, p. 13

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Madeleine L'Engle:

That's the way things come clear. All of a sudden. And then you realize how obvious they've been all along.

The Arm of the Starfish

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Helen Keller:

People do not like to think. If one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.