The Saturday Writing Quote — on revision

In writing world, November is known as NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. Participants pledge to write 50,000 words in a month — that’s about 2/3 of a typical cozy mystery, maybe half of a typical thriller. It takes determination, a comfy chair, and 1,667 words a day. I didn’t participate, but for those of you who did, I offer a month of quotes on revision!

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything good.”

– William Faulkner

The Saturday Writing Quote — on reading

“Studies have shown that reading novels increases our ability to empathize, but not by choice, but by rewiring our brain. … Story isn’t something we humans created for “entertainment” nor is story about something as ephemeral, vague and – honestly unhelpful – as the concept of “art.” In fact, we didn’t create story at all; story created us. Or at least our perception of the world we live in. Story is built into the architecture of the brain, it’s the framework that allows us to process all the raw info that life throws at us 24/7.”
– Lisa Cron, Writer Unboxed blog, 10/8/15

The Saturday Writing Quote — on reading

“Fiction allows our brains to practice reacting to the kinds of challenges that are, and always were, most crucial to our success as a species. … [S]tories make societies work better, by encouraging us to behave ethically. As with sacred myths, ordinary stories—from TV shoes to fairy tales—steep us all in the same powerful norms and values. They relentlessly stigmatize antisocial character and just as relentlessly celebrate prosocial behiavor.”

Jonathan Gottschall, in The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human, reviewed in The Writer, June 2012

The Saturday Writing Quote — on reading

“Every so often, when I am feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by all the reading I must do for work, I stop. I pull out something beloved, something from childhood, and I read that instead.”
– Laurie Hertzel, Minneapolis Star Tribune, talking about reading favorite childhood books as an adult.

(Illustration: the current cover of Calico Bush, one of my childhood faves that stands up beautifully on rereading)

The Saturday Writing Quote — on creativity

Apologies for the brain cramp that meant no quotes for two weeks — but they’re back, and I’ve got a new crop.

“Self-consciousness is the enemy of all art, be it acting, writing, painting or living itself, which is the greatest art of all. Creativity, at heart, is the essence of man’s being.”
– Ray Bradbury, The Writer, Nov 1965, quoted Nov 2014

(Mixed media collage by Leslie)


The Saturday Writing Quote — on creativity


“We are naturally creative beings, invested in our existence to live, grow, express, and expand. The challenge is not to be creative—it’s to eliminate the barriers to the natural flow of our creative energies. Practically speaking, it’s about getting your act together, letting spontaneous ideas emerge, capturing them, and utilizing their value.”

“Have you envisioned wild success about anything lately?”

– David Allen, Getting Things Done (rev. ed., 2015)

Clearwater Valley, Leslie Budewitz, pastel on suedeboard

The Saturday Writing Quote — on process (again)

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.”

— Ira Glass, American radio host, writer, and producer

The Barn, by Leslie Budewitz, pastel on sandpaper