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Quoteskimming - May 29, 2011

Some quotes that particularly struck me recently - most of which have to do with the writerly life. The first is taken from Neil Gaiman's blog post about the 8in8 project, in which he and his wife, Amanda Palmer, collaborated with Ben Folds and Damian Kulash to write songs in a finite period of time.

"[C]reativity isn't always a matter of magic and inspiration. Mostly it's a matter of work. Of doing it."

Being somewhat voyeuristic in nature, I am always interested in seeing the spaces in which authors work. Which is why I was pleased to learn about Erin Bow's office, located in a poledancing studio (no lie), and to see in this blog post where it is that Erin works. And when one sits down in that chair to do the work, sometimes it can be helpful to have some rituals. I especially liked what Erin Bow had to say about inspiration and the use of what she calls "ritual objects and relics" in one's writing space. Isn't this quote of Erin's beautiful?

"I often find one needs to coax oneself closer to inspiration, the way a church coaxes one closer to God. So my office is furnished with ritual objects and relics."

And finally, some wise words from Jennifer R. Hubbard, who was guest-blogging at Natalie Whipple's blog, on the creative person's desire for approval and on staying inspired through the clever use of "celebratory files":

True happiness only comes from within, and it doesn’t depend on external success, and nothing outside ourselves can give us a sense of wholeness...

All true. But that doesn’t mean we don’t crave a pat on the back sometimes, an acknowledgment that what we put out into the world is appreciated by someone, somewhere. This is especially true for writers. In part, we write for ourselves; there is joy in the very act of wordsmithing. But in another way, we write for an audience. We hope to connect with others through words, and when it happens, it’s very special.

For that reason, I’ve created celebratory files.

I hope one or more of these three quotes speak to you as well.

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 30th, 2011 08:37 am (UTC)
tanita says:
Oh, this was a needed post - if life is a race, I am having those horrible leg cramps that happen a third of the way to the finish line -- I need all the inspiration I can get.

I love the idea of relics and ritual in connection with writing, to coax one into a more receptive state for the Muse. I haven't got any of those things, I don't think (Unless the Totoro and the blue origami Phoenix on my desk count), but shall think about them now.
May. 30th, 2011 12:42 pm (UTC)
Re: tanita says:
I very much liked Erin's take on relics. I do have a few things that I suppose are relic-like near the desk in my family room, but I haven't written there in years. I have a lovely sewn paper bird made out of pages from P&P that Tricia gave me that is near where I write in my bedroom, along with a small vase that I bought for myself that I really like, and some gnomes, etc.
May. 30th, 2011 06:26 pm (UTC)
I love all these quotes! Thanks for posting them.

Although I don't use rituals and thingies. But I do love that idea of coaxing.

And now that looks like a made up word. Coax. Coaxes. Coaxing.
May. 30th, 2011 11:12 pm (UTC)

And you're correct about how sometimes words we know in isolation don't look real.
(Deleted comment)
May. 31st, 2011 12:25 am (UTC)
Sounds delightful!
May. 31st, 2011 02:26 am (UTC)
Oh, I love that quote of Erin's. The idea of rituals and relics to open oneself up for creation. Lovely.
May. 31st, 2011 06:54 am (UTC)
I liked it as well - she said much more about it in her post, of course.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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