Thursday, April 07, 2011

For the writers

And, really, for everyone else, too.

I was reading this week's Chronicle of Higher Education and the Chronicle Review, because I'm in academe, don't you know, and I'm all smart and stuff.

In reading the Review, I ran across some gems of writing instruction and inspiration from Gina Barreca, professor of English and feminist theory at the University of Connecticut:
The perfect is the enemy of the good. You can rewrite, you can revise, you can refine, but the first thing you have to do is write. Of course what you write is going to be imperfect. The fun part, remember, is that what you think is good might turn out not to be (kill your darlings and all that), but more important, what you think is absolutely terrible might turn out to be a version of the most interesting idea you’ve come up with yet.
Only writing counts as writing. Long discussions over dinner, reading yet another piece of research, having yet another discussion over drinks, none of this counts as writing. Don’t kid yourself. Your dream-self, your cats, your dog, your spouse, your colleagues, your writing group, and your friends: None of them can write your book for you. Only you can do it. That’s the hard part, and that’s what’s great, and that’s what you need to do. Go on, then; get started.


Felicity said...

Challenge accepted. : ) Great quotes.

Angela said...

All very good stuff.