Jan 16, 2008

learning from great writing quotations

Writing quotation: “Writing is not an unintelligent art. Writing is a craft before it is an art, and writers can and do discuss their craft in terms we can understand. There are good reasons teachers and students of writing should hear what writers say about their craft,” says Donald Murray in Shoptalk: Learning to Write With Writers.

Writing tip: Read writing quotations from authors such as Anne Lamott and W.H. Murray, and learn from their experience. They’re talented writers. They’ve put in their time, and they’re willing to tell you what they’ve learned.

Here’s Henry David Thoreau on the writing muse: “Write while the heat is in you. When the farmer burns a hole in his yoke, he carries the hot iron quickly from the fire to the wood, for every moment it is less effectual to penetrate it. It must be used instantly, or it is useless. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled…”

Writing tip: When you have a writing inspiration, get it down as soon as you can. The other day I had a great article idea, and I put it on my “to do” list, and…three days have passed and now I think it’s not such a hot idea after all. From now on, I’m heeding Thoreau’s writing advice. As soon as I have an idea, I'm writing it.

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