This week I finish up a 10 week writing course taught by the amazing Laurie Wagner. In our virtual class lounge, beautiful Emilee dropped off a few quotes most definitely worth sharing…
Because We Live and Die for Our Stories
“My cousin Helen, who is in her 90’s now, was in the Warsaw ghetto during World War 2. She and a bunch of the girls in the ghetto had to do sewing each day. And, if you were found with a book, it was an automatic death penalty. She had gotten hold of a copy of ‘Gone with the Wind’, and she would take three or four hours out of her sleeping time each night to read. And then, during the hour or so they were sewing the next day, she would tell them all the story. These girls were risking certain death for a story. And when she told me that story herself, it actually made what I do feel more important. Because giving people stories is not a luxury. It’s actually one of the things that you live and die for.”~Neil Gaiman
“Submitting your work is like getting on stage, pulling your pants down, and asking for comments.” ~Christina Dodd
“Be courageous and try to write in a way that scares you a little.” ~Holley Gerth
“The Beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon.” ~Robert Cormier
“Write like no one is reading”
“I wish I wrote the way I thought;
With maddening hunger.
I’d write to the point of suffocation.
I’d write myself into nervous breakdowns, Manuscripts spiraling out tentacle into abysmal nothing.
And I write about you
a lot more
than I should”
Let me know – what’s your favorite quote for writing (or reading?) I’d love to hear from you!
Never in a million years would I believe a page of words could have such a freeing feeling. This one page from Everyday Sacred by Sue Bender shot straight to my heart. Its message is one I’ve been hearing over and over again. A message that keeps appearing in my own daily writing.
Today I wrote “I can’t teach you how to live a better life. There’s no program I can sell you, no podcast for you to listen to, no magic pill for you to swallow. I can only show you that it’s possible.”
The things I’ve learned in the last billion years, okay, 15 years, are lessons that just about all of us experience. Divorce, being cheated on (or lied to or some other serious betrayal of trust,) serious illness or life threatening accident, loss of a job (how about a few) – man, this is the crap that drags us down, down, down. But guess what? Most of us are resilient and we bounce back – scarred a little but we bounce back transformed by the knowledge and the wisdom of making it through hell.
These are the stories I want to tell. Until now, I never knew how to write them. I kept trying to write a straight line – and then this happened after that happened. Only breast cancer came on the heels of divorce and the death of that little civilization I knew like the back of my hand was crushed when I found out my first husband was sleeping with another woman. I had no idea if I was going to live let alone be happy again. Or find true love. And somewhere in that cess pool of angst I lost not one but two freaking jobs. And in between I was a single mom with two teenage daughters – one of whom was to be my teacher. And let me tell ya, she got me ready for my life as a stepmom in short order.
So you can imagine my writers dilemma. Thank God for Sue Bender quoting Deena Metzger and for me finally reading Everyday Sacred, which I bought in 2007 and never read until now.
What a message, “Stories move in circles.” So does life.