Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Haitian Proverb:

The rocks in the water don't know how the rocks in the sun feel.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mary Pipher:

You have something to say that no one else can say. Your history, your unique sensibilities, your sense of place, and your language bestow upon you a singular authority.

Writing to Change the World, p. 45

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cynthia Lofsness:

I've experienced that the activity of writing does make things happen....That's the way ideas come about for me...through a willing acceptance of sub-ideas that aren't really dignified enough for most people to pay any attention to, but if I begin to pay attention things always come....It's not writing from a reservoir; it's like engaging in an activity out of which things come.

When interviewed by William Stafford, Writing the Australian Crawl, p. 112

Friday, September 25, 2009

Joan Silber:

Shutting up is a good research tool.

Ideas of Heaven

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Daniel Patrick Moynihan:

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mary Pipher:

Our sensibilities, our moral outlook, and our point of view are what we writers have to offer the reader. Only when we know who we are can we fully offer this gift.

Writing to Change the World, p. 35

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mark Twain:

Rumor can run all the way around the world while Truth is still putting on his pants.

Monday, September 21, 2009

William Stafford:

Technique used for itself will rot your soul.

Writing the Australian Crawl, p. 78

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bonnie Friedman:

Daily life is always extraordinary when rendered precisely.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


If a writer could truly capture the life of any person for just one day, that writer would be the best writer who ever lived.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mary Pipher:

We write with a sense of urgency. We write because we discover that we have something we alone can say. And we struggle on because we still believe in the power of words, just as Anne Frank believed in goodness despite powerful evidence to the contrary.

Writing to Change the World, p. 30

Monday, September 14, 2009

Linus Pauling:

The secret of having good ideas is to have a lot of ideas, then throw away the bad ones.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Unbridled Pen

Today I attended the Council for the Written Word's 16th annual fall writing workshop, featuring author Michael Martone and cowboy poet Peggy Godfrey.

Friday, September 11, 2009

William Stafford:

To curry favor by saying what you do not mean, or what you do not feel, is as damaging in poetry as it is in politics or business or other parts of life.

Writing the Australian Crawl, p. 78

Thursday, September 10, 2009

William Carlos Williams:

Catch an eyeful, catch an earful, then don't drop what you've caught.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Anne Lamott:

How alive am I willing to be?

Bird by Bird, p. 236

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mary Pipher:

Writing turns out to be one thing we can control in a world where much feels beyond our control. Most of us will not be spearheading protest marches against the World Trade Organization, masterminding boycotts against sweatshops in China, or leading the charge against oil exploitation in Nigeria. We won't be building orphanages for children in South Africa. But we do what we can. We write.

Writing to Change the World, p. 29

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fredrick Nietzsche:

Be careful, lest in fighting the dragon you become the dragon.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Willa Cather:

It's easy to be a writer. You just open a vein and bleed over every page.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

William Stafford:

You accept leads that take you to unrecognized results. In the arts you must stand fast, accept the chances that the moment brings.

Writing the Australian Crawl, p. 78

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bob Dylan:

Protest songs are difficult to write without making them come off as preachy and one-dimensional. You have to show people a side of themselves they didn't know is there.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Anne Lamott:

Being a writer is a part of a noble tradition, as is being a musician -- the last egalitarian and open associations.

Bird by Bird, p. 235