"A blank piece of paper is like an unassaulted ice floe — whether you’re a well-known writer or a beginner, it’s overwhelming. I teach a second-grade workshop with my grandson right now, and I tell them about keeping a one-inch picture frame on their desks — all you have to do on any given day is what you can see through that one-inch picture frame. I’ll say, ‘You don’t have to write a whole book on birds; just pick one bird.’ We have a lot of pelicans where I live, so I’ll say, ‘Read about pelicans, and then write me two sentences about pelicans in your own voice.’" -Anne Lamott
"The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time." -Mary Oliver
"There is nothing noble about being superior to another person; the true greatness is in being superior to your previous self." -Buddhist proverb
"I think the imagination is the single most useful tool mankind possesses. It beats the opposable thumb. I can imagine living without my thumbs, but not without my imagination. It is not a means of making money. It has no place in the vocabulary of profit-making. It is not a weapon, though all weapons originate from it, and their use, or non-use, depends on it, as with all tools and their uses. The imagination is an essential tool of the mind, a fundamental way of thinking, an indispensable means of becoming and remaining human." -Ursula K. Leguin
"Why is it that of every hundred gifted young musicians who study at Juilliard or every hundred brilliant young scientists who go to work in major labs under illustrious mentors, only a handful will write memorable musical compositions or make scientific discoveries of major importance? Are the majority, despite their gifts, lacking in some further creative spark? Are they missing characteristics other than creativity that may be essential for creative achievement — such as boldness, confidence, independence of mind?
It takes a special energy, over and above one’s creative potential, a special audacity or subversiveness, to strike out in a new direction once one is settled. It is a gamble as all creative projects must be, for the new direction may not turn out to be productive at all." -Oliver Sacks
"Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible." -Stephen King
"I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear." -Joan Didion
"If you want to give a voice to the voiceless, if you want to tell the untold stories, you have to find the right language. That goes for prose as well as film, for autobiography as well as documentary. Use the wrong language, and you're dumb and blind." -Salman Rushdie
"In a long distance race, everyone gets tired. The winner is the runner who figures out where to put the tired, figures out how to store it away until after the race is over. Sure, he's tired. Everyone is. That's not the point. The point is to run. Same thing is true for shipping, I think. Everyone is afraid. Where do you put the fear?" -Seth Godin
About This Blog
Media criticism. Poetry. Theatre. Toronto. Technology. Travel. Sports. Why X-Files rocks.