Just got back from my writers’ residency where I studied with the brilliant Ethan Canin. I learned a lot, made new writer friends, and feel regrounded in my sense of myself as a writer. If you can manage a residency I recommend it. It’s like time is compressed in these places, and much growth can take place in only a week or two.
So lucky to get to spend a week at Cuttyhunk Island Writers Residency. No kidding, it’s gorgeous here.
"I’ve had a sign over my typewriter for over 25 years now, which reads “Don’t think!” You must never think at the typewriter—you must feel. Your intellect is always buried in that feeling anyway."
— Ray Bradbury
"If you can manage to keep expecting of yourself nothing more than that you'll spend a couple of hours a day or more if it's possible, but the two hours anyway--if you can teach yourself to allow only this kind of expectation into realm of effort where you live, you will get a lot more done, and the discouragements will tend to be less debilitating, since all you expected was time with it. It's when you let those OTHER expectations in that you head toward the silence of having given up."
— Richard Bausch
"Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window."
— William Faulkner
“Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but, most of all, endurance.”
— James Baldwin
"Love words, agonize over sentences. And pay attention to the world."
— Susan Sontag
"Story-telling is and always has been story telling first, as painting is and has always been painting first. This is what I mean when I say that this work is much closer to the cave than it will ever be to the drawing room. So forget everything you know, learn to be stupid before the blank page, and just tell stories. Remember Proust talking about a great painter who had the gift of becoming 'stupid before the empty canvas.'"
— Richard Bausch
Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.
— Barbara Kingsolver
"Only God gets things right the first time."
— Stephen King