daily fieldnotes

Some Favorite Quotes1

“Don’t worry about your talent or capability: that will grow as you practice. Katagiri Roshi said, ‘Capability is like a water table below the surface of Earth.’ No one owns it, but you can tap it. You tap it with your effort and it will come through you. So just practice writing, and when you learn to trust your voice, direct it.” Natalie Goldberg Writing Down the Bones 

“A work in progress quickly becomes feral. It reverts to a wild state overnight. It is barely domesticated, a mustang on which you one day fastened a halter, but which now you cannot catch. It is a lion you cage in your study. As the work grows, it gets harder to control; it is a lion growing in strength. You must visit it every day and reassert your mastery over it. If you skip a day, you are, quite rightly, afraid to open the door to its room. You enter its room with bravura, holding a chair at the thing and shouting, “Simba!”’ (Annie Dillard, The Writing Life)

“Our obsessions are the keys to our art; if we pay enough attention to them, we will find ourselves on the road to originality, resonance, truth.” Robin MacArthur, “Abandoned Landscapes”, seen on catchingdays.

“I beg you…to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without ever noticing it, live your way into the answer…” Rainer Maria Rilke

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” Stephen King

1 comment

  1. Cynthia Newberry Martin

    08/11/2013 at 6:47 am

    Great quote from Annie Dillard. I had forgotten that one. Loved that quote from Robin! Oh, and the Rilke…wonder where that would put you with the work/child issue…


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