Tag Archives: stories

Anne Lamott (b. April 10): “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts.”

10 Apr

 

Anne Lamott, born 10 April 1954, is an American novelist and non-fiction writer. She is also a political activist, public speaker, and writing teacher. Her non-fiction works are largely autobiographical and cover alcoholism, single motherhood, depression and Christianity. She is most famous for Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.

Quotes on Writing:

  1. My gratitude for good writing is unbounded; I’m grateful for it the way I’m grateful for the ocean.
  2. Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.
  3. I don’t think you have time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won’t be good at it.
  4. Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?
  5. You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.
  6. Don’t be afraid of your material or your past. Be afraid of wasting any more time obsessing about how you look and how people see you. Be afraid of not getting your writing done.
  7. We write to expose the unexposed. If there is one door in the castle you have been told not to go through, you must. The writer’s job is to turn the unspeakable into words – not just into any words, but if we can, into rhythm and blues.
  8. For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.
  9. Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.
  10. You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sand castles with words, who is willing to create a place where your imagination can wander. We build this place with the sand of memories; these castles are our memories and inventiveness made tangible. So part of us believes that when the tide starts coming in, we won’t really have lost anything, because actually only a symbol of it was there in the sand. Another part of us thinks we’ll figure out a way to divert the ocean. This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won’t wash them away. I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be.

 

Marisha Pessl, (b. October 26): “Some stories you should run from” & other quotes on writing

26 Oct
pessl_CROP

pinterest.com/pin/39406565465037371/

Marisha Pessl, born 26 October 1977, is an American writer best known for her debut novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics.

Quotes on writing:

  1. My writing schedule is like any normal job, 9-5, M-F. 
  2. Some stories you should run from while you still have legs.
  3. I haven’t always been a writer and I suppose I tiptoed around the idea of writing full time, because it’s so isolating.
  4. When I’m creating characters, I definitely think of theme songs. Writing for me is very visual, so I sometimes think of it in terms of a movie with a soundtrack, and try to transfer that to words.
  5. Certainly one of the surprising truths of having a book published is realizing that your book is as open to interpretation as an abstract painting. People bring their own beliefs and attitudes to your work, which is thrilling and surprising at the same time.
  6. I think every writer has a book that haunts them, and on some level, every book you write is a reaction to it. Lolita is that book for me. Nabokov’s love of wordplay, descriptive detail, artfully complex plots, and his themes of obsession and lost love, are inspiring.
  7. Never try to change the narrative structure of someone else’s story, though you will certainly be tempted to, as you watch those poor souls in school, in life, heading unwittingly down dangerous tangents, fatal digressions from which they will unlikely be able to emerge. Resist the temptation. Spend your energies on your story. Reworking it. Making it better. Increasing the scale, the depth of content, the universal themes. And I don’t care what those themes are – they’re yours to uncover and stand behind – so long as, at the very least, there is courage.

Alexander McCall Smith (b. August 24): “A life without stories would be no life at all.”

24 Aug

mccall-smith

“A life without stories would be no life at all. And stories bound us, did they not, one to another, the living to the dead, people to animals, people to the land?”

~ Alexander McCall Smith, b. 24 August 1948

pinterest.com/pin/39406565464688709/

Anne Lamott (b. April 10): “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts.”

10 Apr

 

Anne Lamott, born 10 April 1954, is an American novelist and non-fiction writer. She is also a political activist, public speaker, and writing teacher. Her non-fiction works are largely autobiographical and cover alcoholism, single motherhood, depression and Christianity. She is most famous for Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.

Quotes on Writing:

  1. My gratitude for good writing is unbounded; I’m grateful for it the way I’m grateful for the ocean.
  2. Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.
  3. I don’t think you have time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won’t be good at it.
  4. Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?
  5. You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.
  6. Don’t be afraid of your material or your past. Be afraid of wasting any more time obsessing about how you look and how people see you. Be afraid of not getting your writing done.
  7. We write to expose the unexposed. If there is one door in the castle you have been told not to go through, you must. The writer’s job is to turn the unspeakable into words – not just into any words, but if we can, into rhythm and blues.
  8. For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.
  9. Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.
  10. You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sand castles with words, who is willing to create a place where your imagination can wander. We build this place with the sand of memories; these castles are our memories and inventiveness made tangible. So part of us believes that when the tide starts coming in, we won’t really have lost anything, because actually only a symbol of it was there in the sand. Another part of us thinks we’ll figure out a way to divert the ocean. This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won’t wash them away. I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be.

 

Marisha Pessl, (b. October 26): “Some stories you should run from” & other quotes on writing

26 Oct
pessl_CROP

pinterest.com/pin/39406565465037371/

Marisha Pessl, born 26 October 1977, is an American writer best known for her debut novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics.

Quotes on writing:

  1. My writing schedule is like any normal job, 9-5, M-F. 
  2. Some stories you should run from while you still have legs.
  3. I haven’t always been a writer and I suppose I tiptoed around the idea of writing full time, because it’s so isolating.
  4. When I’m creating characters, I definitely think of theme songs. Writing for me is very visual, so I sometimes think of it in terms of a movie with a soundtrack, and try to transfer that to words.
  5. Certainly one of the surprising truths of having a book published is realizing that your book is as open to interpretation as an abstract painting. People bring their own beliefs and attitudes to your work, which is thrilling and surprising at the same time.
  6. I think every writer has a book that haunts them, and on some level, every book you write is a reaction to it. Lolita is that book for me. Nabokov’s love of wordplay, descriptive detail, artfully complex plots, and his themes of obsession and lost love, are inspiring.
  7. Never try to change the narrative structure of someone else’s story, though you will certainly be tempted to, as you watch those poor souls in school, in life, heading unwittingly down dangerous tangents, fatal digressions from which they will unlikely be able to emerge. Resist the temptation. Spend your energies on your story. Reworking it. Making it better. Increasing the scale, the depth of content, the universal themes. And I don’t care what those themes are – they’re yours to uncover and stand behind – so long as, at the very least, there is courage.

Eudora Welty (b. Apr 13): “If you haven’t surprised yourself, you haven’t written.”

13 Apr

welty

Eudora Welty (born 13 April 1909, died 23 July 2001) was an American author of short stories and novels about the American South. Her novel The Optimist’s Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973.

Quotes:

  1. Human life is fiction’s only theme.
  2. If you haven’t surprised yourself, you haven’t written.
  3. A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.
  4. It doesn’t matter if it takes a long time getting there; the point is to have a destination.
  5. Learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.
  6. I’m a writer who came from a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.
  7. Writing a story or a novel is one way of discovering sequence in experience, of stumbling upon cause and effect in the happenings of a writer’s own life.
  8. It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming up of themselves like grass. 
  9. Gardening is akin to writing stories. No experience could have taught me more about grief or flowers, about achieving survival by going, your fingers in the ground, the limit of physical exhaustion.
  10. Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.

 

Anne Lamott (b. April 10): “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts.”

10 Apr

 

Anne Lamott, born 10 April 1954, is an American novelist and non-fiction writer. She is also a political activist, public speaker, and writing teacher. Her non-fiction works are largely autobiographical and cover alcoholism, single motherhood, depression and Christianity. She is most famous for Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.

Quotes on Writing:

  1. My gratitude for good writing is unbounded; I’m grateful for it the way I’m grateful for the ocean.
  2. Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.
  3. I don’t think you have time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won’t be good at it.
  4. Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?
  5. You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.
  6. Don’t be afraid of your material or your past. Be afraid of wasting any more time obsessing about how you look and how people see you. Be afraid of not getting your writing done.
  7. We write to expose the unexposed. If there is one door in the castle you have been told not to go through, you must. The writer’s job is to turn the unspeakable into words – not just into any words, but if we can, into rhythm and blues.
  8. For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.
  9. Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.
  10. You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sand castles with words, who is willing to create a place where your imagination can wander. We build this place with the sand of memories; these castles are our memories and inventiveness made tangible. So part of us believes that when the tide starts coming in, we won’t really have lost anything, because actually only a symbol of it was there in the sand. Another part of us thinks we’ll figure out a way to divert the ocean. This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won’t wash them away. I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be.

 

%d bloggers like this: