Monday, November 30, 2009

Eric Sevareid:

Never underestimate the reader's intelligence or overestimate his information level.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Richard Hugo:

Our triggering subjects, like our words, come from obsessions we must submit to, whatever the social cost. It can be hard. It can be worse forty years from now if you feel you could have done it and didn't. It is narcissistic, vain, egotistical, unrealistic, selfish, and hateful to assume emotional ownership of a town or a word. It is also essential.

The Triggering Town, p. 14

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

John Shore:

I really do think the secret to consistently producing quality creative ideas—whether it be for local, regional, or national magazine or newspaper work, or for fiction, or poetry, or play writing—is to never fail to be brutally, crazily, viciously, obsessively (and always politely) honest about whatever it is you’re writing about.

"How to Become a Factory of Story and Article Ideas,"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Jane Kenyon:

The poet's job is to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, in such a way that people cannot live without it; to put into words those feelings we all have that are so deep, so important, and yet so difficult to name.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Donald Miller Event Tonight

I am excited to hear New York Times best-selling author Donald Miller speak tonight. I've read Miller's Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. BLJ is among my favorite books.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mary Pipher:

A great deal of the work of both writers and therapists could be called empathy training. We help people sample one another's fates. Therapists ask, How do you think Y felt when you said X? Change writers ask the same type of questions.

Writing to Change the World, p. 92

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Richard Hugo:

The poem is always in your hometown, but you have a better chance of finding it in another...At home, not only do you know that the movie house wasn't always there, or that the grocer is a newcomer who took over after the former grocer committed suicide, you have complicated emotional responses that defy sorting out. With the strange town, you can assume all knowns are stable, and you owe the details nothing emotionally.

The Triggering Town, p. 12

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pete Seeger:

Singing together you find out that there are things you can learn from each other that you can't learn from arguments or any other way.

Friday, November 13, 2009

John Shore:

Being an Idea Factory, is, after all, the key to being a successful writer, and no two ways about it. If you wait to get assigned a story, you die waiting; if you come up with a good story of your own, though, you’re gold. From fiction to poetry to nonfiction, idea is king.

"How to Become a Factory of Story and Article Ideas,"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kurt Vonnegut:

Music makes practically everybody fonder of life than he or she would be without it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Scott Simon:

Intelligent people can always come up with intelligent reasons to do nothing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mary Pipher:

Skilled writers pay attention when the muse or any other internal visitor comes to call. Poet Marjorie Saiser describes the muse as a "polite little girl." She will come up when we are busy and tug at our shirt. If we ignore her, she will go away. If we want her in our work, we must be ready to attend her gentle call.

Writing to Change the World, p. 78

Monday, November 9, 2009

Richard Hugo:

All art that has endured has a quality we call schmaltz or corn.

The Triggering Town, p. 7

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Donald Miller:

I've wondered for a long time why it is that writers hate to write. William Zinsser says that writers "love to have written," and I agree with that.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, p. 245

Friday, November 6, 2009

John Shore:

Writing’s a weird business: You have to be sensitive enough to be open and vulnerable and creative — and yet be The Terminator when it comes to rejection.

"More on How to Make a Living Writing,"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gary Snyder:

Find your place on the planet, dig in and take responsibility from there.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ellen Goodman:

I give very few people the right to make me feel badly.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mary Pipher:

Writers tend to be sensitive people, and yet to write we need to be tough. Change writers in particular require a certain solidarity to deal with adversity....When we write about important issues, we will inevitably be challenged. Others will feel equally passionately about these issues, but from the opposite points of view. To manage the intense reactions of others, we "need to put the footsteps of courage into the stirrups of patience," as explorer and writer Ernest Shackleton put it.

Writing to Change the World, p. 78

Monday, November 2, 2009

Richard Hugo:

If you feel pressure to say what you know others want to hear and don't have enough devil in you to surprise them, shut up.

The Triggering Town, p. 5

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Donald Miller:

Everything's a mirror when you're a writer...

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, p. 28