Quotes

Passion is the engine . . .

Robert Crais: Passion is the engine that has to fire the whole thing.   Successful writing is all about passion, to create a world that’s full and complete and engrosses the reader. First and foremost, the reader is you. If you’re writing about a world in which you need to research to learn about it, then feel passionate about it. If you’re not passionate about what you’re writing, you’re writing the wrong thing. You want heat, you want fire. That’s what we gather around and warm our hands with. Excerpted from “Fired Up,” by Jessica Strawser, Writer’s Digest, Nov/Dec 2016 #amwriting #justwrite #creativewriting

Quotes

I am a writer . . . I use story to reimagine worlds

“I am not a writer because I write a certain number of words every day. I am a writer because I use story to reimagine worlds. My value as a writer, citizen, and human is not rooted in my productivity, I tell myself on those brain foggy, exhausted days in which small humans climb on my limbs with no mercy.” —Ruth Osorio, excerpt from Ruth’s guest blog post in Brevity magazine. Ruth Osorio, PhD As of Fall 2018, I am living my undergraduate student dream as an Assistant Professor of English and Women’s Studies at Old Dominion University. My family lives in Norfolk, VA, where we spend our days chasing kids on the beach. I am also involved in local grassroots organizing tackling the school-to-prison pipeline and school suspensions in Norfolk Public Schools.

Quotes

Every Riddle is a Bridge

Dawna Markova, PhD: “I was a six-year-old wild child. My parents tried to tame me by warning me about all the terrible threatening things in the world that could hurt me. On the surface, I ignored or defied them, but late at night their fears took root in my mind and strangled my dreams. One Friday morning, I asked my precious grandmother, who had escaped from the Cossacks and didn’t seem to be afraid of anything how she had learned to be so brave. She lifted my fingertips to her wrinkly warm lips one by one, kissing them as she whispered, ‘I’ve told you that each print proves what a precious one-of-a-kind being you are, worthy of great care. Never again will there be another such as you. So pay attention to the warnings and protect the miracle of your life.’ Pausing, she stretched out my arm so and pointed it…

Quotes

Illuminating Ordinary Life

We read for many reasons and different kinds of pleasures. One of those pleasures is recognition—of a moment, a place, a feeling state. It’s the writer’s job to find language for those moments, those feeling states, that allows the reader to access their own feelings, that makes them think, “Oh, I never thought of it that way before. I could never find the words or the language for that.” Illuminating ordinary life, to me, is one of the most beautiful ways to write and to read. —Dani Shapiro, in conversation with Suleika Jaouad

Quotes

Quotes for a rainy day

Are you a planner or a worrier? What is the difference? I’m a worrier, trying to be a planner. I imagine what could go wrong so I can plan for when that happens. I suppose I should say “if” it happens. My worries seldom happen. Instead, things happen that I could never have imagined. But, as Leo Buscaglia said, “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” A therapist said to me, “Worry is modern man’s voo-doo.” I get that. “Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.”– Erma Bombeck Well, as I sit and rock, I could plan what I would do if my worries came true. “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of…

Quotes

Write hot. Revise Cool.

“As Ray Bradbury says, don’t rewrite—relive. Your fiction is about creating emotion in the reader, and you can’t do that well without feeling it yourself.” —”The Geyser Approach To Revision,” James Scott Bell, July/August 2011 Writer’s Digest Note from Marlene: This is true for memoir writing also. “You’ve finished your first draft . . . You’ve written hot. Now you’re ready to revise cool with the help of creative spurts. . . . wait at least two weeks before you do a first read-through of a draft. Then, go through it as fast as possible, as if you were a reader, resisting the urge to tweak anything just yet.” Good advice for those who can do this. This isn’t my style, but it might be yours. I do agree with waiting to revise. Let go of the attachment to your writing, your beautiful writing. Keep your darlings in a separate…