Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life was a gift from a good friend. Here are a few things I don’t want to forget after reading it.
Do not hurry. Do not rest.
I know you can’t rush the writing process and I know you shouldn’t stop writing. This blog provides a kind of discipline to write regularly and collect and explore ideas and information that I can use in other things I write.
It can take 2-10 years to write a book. I’ve had a number of book projects in the works for a couple years now. I need to continue working on them and realize writing a book takes time.
I love to read but often when I’m working on a writing project I neglect reading. This is silly because I know that one thing drives the other.
How many books do we read where the author lacked the courage to cut…
When I first started writing I went to a workshop with Fredelle Maynard and she said good writing was bare as a bone and clean as a whistle. That kind of writing requires the courage to cut. I often lack it.
It would be hard for me not to be a writer. Writing is how I make sense of the world, how I remember things, organize ideas and is often the best way to express my feelings.
Although Dillard is right that many people aren’t writers I think they all could be. One of my goals as a teacher was to get all my students to believe they were writers. I wanted them to see writing as a valuable skill that could enrich their lives.
Thanks for giving me The Writing Life Esther.
Other posts about writing…..