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

The Saturday Writing Quote — more on process

“It’s really important for younger writers to have a community, a kind of spiritual family. Writing is so solitary, and it takes us to deep emotional places. It should. If it’s not taking you to such places, you’re not working hard enough. Fellow writers can sustain you for the long process of creation, for the long haul.”

– Sandra Cisneros, American novelist, The Writer, Aug 2015

The Saturday Writing Quote — on process

“It may not be everything you want, but the ultimate goal for a writer is to develop a healthy relationship with his or her own writing process. Agents come and go, publishers come and go, trends come and go, but having a profound, intimate relationship with process is the best protection there is. It’s the only thing that sustains.”

– Dennis Palumbo, novelist, screenwriter, and psychotherapist, in “The Enemy Within,” on The Writing Life, an Authors Guild blog

The Saturday Writing Quote

September — can you believe it? Me, neither. It evokes images of going back to school, gathering your notebooks and crayons, and getting out the corduroy pants. Okay, so maybe that one’s just me. But getting back to work can be daunting. I know — I’m right there with you, starting a new novel. So for this month, a few timely reminders.

“We don’t possess all the skills needed to write the novel we have inside us until just after we’ve finished it.”

Willam Kowalski, Canadian novelist, The Writer, Feb 2012