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The Writing Life

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.

anniedillard_thewritinglifeDillard begins her book with a quote by Goethe.

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. 

Only after a writer lets literature shape her, can she perhaps shape literature.

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.

hiroshima writing notesIt is easy after all not to be a writer. Most people aren’t writers and no harm comes to them.

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…..

The Journalist’s Prayer

A Tribute to My First Editor

My First Published Piece of Fiction

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