It’s been awhile since I’ve written one of these so I thought I would share some of my more recent finds on this post before Christmas. It was August the last time I did a post like this so my finds represent the ways I have changed this fall and what I still hope to do with my writing as time moves on.
I find it interesting that my first quote comes from Shirley Ann Grau. She is an American writer who was born in Louisiana and who spent much of her childhood in the state where I live now, Alabama. She won a Pulitzer Prize for her work The Keepers of the House and published other novels and short stories. This is the quote. “I spend half my time trying to learn the secrets of other writers–to apply them to the expression of my own thoughts.” I feel like I’ve done that this fall through my reading, and I’ve seen it come out in my writing. From what I’ve read about this particular author, I think I need to add some of her work to my reading list to assist me in building my writing skill set. I’m thinking my 2019 reading list is going to be pretty long, but it will be worth it.
The second quote comes from American poet, novelist, and short story writer Sylvia Plath. Her quote resonated with me because of the post I wrote last week about self-doubt (https://writewhatyouknowdotorg.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/writers-doubt-and-self-doubt/) and because of my own experiences with mental illness. Here is the quote. “Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it…The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Yes, I’ve found this to be true. I’ve hesitated about writing things because I’ve wondered what people would think. I’ve hesitated about submitting things because I’ve wondered if it was good enough. But, I can’t. Not anymore. We need to write about the good things and the bad things, the dark things. It’s the only way we can get a full and complete measure of world as it is today. I’m planning to put her novel The Bell Jar on my reading list.
My third quote comes from American writer Amy Tan. I’ve not read any of her work, but I am more familiar with her name because one of her novels was adapted into a film. Her quote also reflects how I feel about writing so I figured it would be a good one to include. “Writing is an extreme privilege, but it’s also a gift. It’s a gift to yourself and it’s a gift of giving a story to someone.” I’ve been told my writing will be a gift to my family after I’m gone–to future generations like grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And, yes, that is certainly true. Of course, my hope is that some people will read my writing while I’m still alive. 🙂
The next quote comes from author Liz Newman who has written a variety of articles for Thrillist mainly covering travel and relationships. She also writes for the websites Bustle and Fatherly. I liked her quote because it talked about believing in yourself which is something I struggle with. “We are important. Our stories are important. Don’t let anyone try and talk you out of telling yours.” I think for a while there I cared about what people thought, and it inhibited me. I want to write authentically from my own experiences like I said earlier. Not to be unkind, but to understand how the world works.
This brings me to my final quote from American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright Edna Ferber. She was also someone I had not heard of, but someone whose work might get added to the reading list. Many of the novels I’ve read this fall have had strong female protagonists. She sounds no different, and I’m looking forward to trying one of her works. Here is her quote before I forget. “Life can’t ever defeat a writer who is in love with writing.” There is so much truth in this statement, and I think it’s something all of us need to remember.
I hope these quotes and my comments have given you food for thought as the end of 2018 approaches.
Have a great day, everyone!