Monday, 8 April 2013

"G" is for Good, No, GREAT Writing Quotes

"G" is the most difficult letter of the #AtoZChallenge alphabet yet. "K" looms large and knarly (or is it gnarly?) just ahead...but we're not there quite yet. I spent Sunday thinking, polled a few friends and ended up with a great big list of "G" words that, try as I might, I couldn't link to writing.

Nothing came to mind so, naturally, I turned to a favourite quote. It sits on my work table:

'When words don't come easy, I make do with silence and find something in nothing.' (Strider Marcus Jones)

Well, gee-whiz. So I listened, like the man said. And it came to me. "OK," I decided, "I'm taking the lazy way out and stealing a favourite idea from the second half of the alphabet!" Right, cheat. Got it. So, my "G" post is (tah-dah!) about the Good, Great, Glorious, Grand QUOTATIONS which have changed my day, or my life, or gotten me un-stuck or back on track somewhere along the way.

And here are some of them. (Spoiler alert: I have so many, I'm certain there'll be plenty left for Q-Day if nothing else comes along.)

FIRST, an an all-time favourite from an all-time favourite man, film critic and writer extraordinaire Roger Ebert:

"You are the writer. What you write is what is written. It is exactly right because it is exactly what you wrote. If someone else doesn't think so, fuck 'em. There is no objective goal, no objective right or wrong. Only the process. Your mind will set itself down in words. Do not criticize. Do not look back at every sentence. Just write. You have no idea where you are headed. Your words will lead you. This above all: Nothing is ever completed until it is started. Start. Don't look back. If at the end it doesn't meet your hopes, start again."

NEXT,  this one. I love what Clancy says because it makes my mind make grinding sounds just thinking about it:                                  

"The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.” -Tom Clancy

BUT, some days I want a more mellow approach, something that puts the great big picture in something resembling perspective. Thich Nhat Hanh does that for me: 

"Our own life is the instrument with which we experiment with truth." - Thich Nhat Hanh

And, FINALLY, for newest gleaned quote, just last week from an interview in an issue of Creative Nonfiction Magazine; it came along at just the right time. I needed a kick in the, well, you know. Isn't this just the most wonderful writing advice?

“Writing is hard for every last one of us—straight white men included. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig. You need to do the same. … so write, Elissa Bassist. Not like a girl. Not like a boy. Write like a Mother#^@%*&!"


  1. Brilliant, Cynthia!! Isn't this blog challenge a blast! I'm finally getting around to figuring out the whole twitter thing and using the AtoZ hashtag. I will definitely be re-reading this post. Excellent job!


  2. Until I get my blog transferred over to wordpress, I don't have a way to respond to comments on my blog that the original commenter will see. Just wanted to come clean here -- the little pigtail thing is part of the strap of his glasses! With his Down syndrome features, it's hard to keep the glasses from sliding down, and down, and down. Thanks for thinking I might be a trendy mom, though!

    1. Oh, no! I'm shattered. Never mind, I'm thinking it's a little pigtail thing and I love it to bits. He is so adorable and you capture the nuances with such love and grace. Makes me sniffy.

  3. I just found this randomly while looking for quotes for my own blog. I'll have to read every single letter now at least. Afternoon? Gone.