Quote: Alice Walker

To act sincerely with the insincere is always a mistake.

Quoted by Alice Walker as a Taoist proverb in In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens.

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You don’t even have to know how or in what way, but if you are writing the clearest, truest words you can find and doing the best you can to understand and communicate, this will shine on paper like its own little lighthouse. Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.

Anne Lamott
Bird by Bird

Anne Lamott on lighthouses

Quote: No writing is wasted.

No writing is wasted. Did you know that sourdough from San Francisco is leavened partly by a bacteria called lactobacillus sanfrancisensis? It is native to the soil there, and does not do well elsewhere. But any kitchen can become an ecosystem. If you bake a lot, your kitchen will become a happy home to wild yeasts, and all your bread will taste better. Even a failed loaf is not wasted. Likewise, cheese makers wash the dairy floor with whey. Tomato gardeners compost with rotten tomatoes. No writing is wasted: the words you can’t put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the next words better.

Erin Bow

via Kate Milford

Creative Thinking and Failure

I really liked the post Twelve Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking on Psychology Today, especially this part:

9.      There is no such thing as failure. Whenever you try to do something and do not succeed, you do not fail. You have learned something that does not work. Always ask “What have I learned about what doesn’t work?”, “Can this explain something that I didn’t set out to explain?”, and “What have I discovered that I didn’t set out to discover?” Whenever someone tells you that they have never made a  mistake, you are talking to someone who has never tried anything new.

And #10 You do not see things as they are; you see them as you are. This goes along with there is nothing original but no one else sees things as you do.

Finally, #13 (did they not notice there are 13 points in this article?):

And, finally, Creativity is paradoxical. To create, a person must have knowledge but forget the knowledge, must see unexpected connections in things but not have a mental disorder, must work hard but spend time doing nothing as information incubates, must create many ideas yet most of them are useless, must look at the same thing as everyone else, yet see something different, must desire success but embrace failure, must be persistent but not stubborn, and must listen to experts but know how to disregard them.

In her creative office, every writer should feel like she’s on a high wire twenty stories off the ground over a major highway with no net to catch her if she falls. She should worry that this book is beyond her skill level, that she might not know enough to write this one, that she might not be good enough to pull this off.

At the same time, she should be having fun—but an adrenalin-junkie kind of fun, an I-can’t-believe-I’m-up-here-trying-this kinda of fun.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch on The Business Rusch

Every writer should feel like she’s on a high wire …

Quote of the Day

Plate VII from Charles Darwin's The Expression...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m reading Art & Fear: Observations on the perils and rewards of artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland. I’m not very far into it, but so far it is excellent. Here’s the quote from Chapter 2:

Artists don’t get down to work until the pain of working is exceeded by the pain of not working — Stephen DeStaebler

Thanks to NaNoWriMo I’m not there right now! Yay!