Saturday Writing Quote — on fear

01_Barn_Pastel_WEB[I tell beginning writers to be] “stubborn. Be tenacious. Commit yourself to the inevitability of failure. Sentences are going to fail, chapters … whole books … [P]ay close attention to [your] own life. Don’t avoid your own passions and fears. There’s a tendency, I think, to sublimate it all, or to become so oblique as to avoid entirely that which has hurt you or that which has jerked you awake at night. I know of no rule that commands a writer to be subtle at all costs. At times, I believe, it doesn’t hurt to be blunt.”

– Tim O’Brien, American novelist, b. 1946, in The Writer (July 2010)

(painting by Leslie, pastel on garnet paper)

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