Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Morning Quote: William Stafford on What a Writer Is

In an effort to post more regularly, read more widely on craft, and inspire myself to make every week a good writing week, I'm instituting a new feature: the Monday morning quote. Each week on Monday I'll post a quote about writing—or reading, or art more generally—in this space. Sometimes I'll have something to say about it; sometimes I'll let it stand by itself. Suggestions and contributions welcome!

Here's this week's quote:
A writer is not so much someone who has something to say as he is someone who has found a process that will bring about new things he would not have thought of if he had not started to say them.

—William Stafford, Writing the Australian Crawl
I love the way this gets at the indirect nature of the process and the very dotted line between the original intent and the finished product. It reminds me, too, how much the pleasure of writing is the surprise of seeing what comes out on the page.

I owe my introduction to William Stafford to Ellen Steinbaum's blog, Reading and Writing and the Occasional Recipe, which I recommend to you and which includes a lovely post that is particularly relevant in this, my contest-mad year: Confessions of a Poetry Contest Judge.

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