Coaching the Creative

Writer or Painter

When we write, many words and phrases intended to vividly make a point are often sacrificed as the blog, article or book take form and meld into a published piece.

A writer is aware that the beginning of a work is often erased.

A painter can cover their earliest sketch points until the latest brush strokes obliterate the first from view

And thus is shared a valuable reminder¬† from Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life.

I read the book on a plane as an exercise to improve my own writing. Which netted me many affirming moments as the master shared her experiences through the thorny parts of her own process.

If you write, you may enjoy this fist full of Dillard’s thoughts I perceived worth sharing:

“Out of a human population on earth of four and half billion, perhaps twenty people can write a serious book a year.”¬†

“Sometimes part of a book simply gets up and walks away. The writer cannot force it back in place. It wanders off to die.”

“The written word is weak. Many people prefer life to it. Life gets your blood going, and it smells good.”

“Novels written with film contract in mind have a faint but unmistakable, and ruinous, odor.”

“There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by.”¬†

“Nothing on earth is more gladdening than knowing we must roll up our sleeves and move back the boundaries of the humanly possible once more.”

There were numerous other treasures begging to be shared. And yet, if some part of what you just read has engaged your interest, get a copy of the 111 pages and read them for yourself.

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