I wasn’t going to borrow yet another entry from Maria, but this one is just too good.
So, to end 2013, here’s Maria’s Best Books on Writing and Creativity.
Find below the bits I love the most – the original is quite long.
But when you have time, do read Maria’s post in its entirety – it’s absolutely gratifying. Actually, make time.
From The New Yorker’s Susan Orlean in Why We Write:
You have to simply love writing, and you have to remind yourself often that you love it.
We tend to overestimate what we can do in a short period, and underestimate what we can do over a long period, provided we work slowly and consistently.
From Seth Godin, also in Manage Your Day-to-Day:
The notion that I do my work here, now, like this, even when I do not feel like it, and especially when I do not feel like it, is very important. Because lots and lots of people are creative when they feel like it, but you are only going to become a professional if you do it when you don’t feel like it. And that emotional waiver is why this is your work and not your hobby.
From Shapiro’s Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life:
Still, writing was what saved me. It presented me with a window into the infinite. It allowed me to create order out of chaos.
And again from Shapiro:
The writing life requires courage, patience, persistence, empathy, openness, and the ability to deal with rejection. It requires the willingness to be alone with oneself. To be gentle with oneself. To look at the world without blinders on. To observe and withstand what one sees. To be disciplined, and at the same time, take risks. To be willing to fail — not just once, but again and again, over the course of a lifetime.
Steven Kramer, Teresa Amabile, and Ela Ben-Ur on one of the (many) benefits of keeping a diary, in Maximize Your Potential:
This is your life; savor it. Hold on to the threads across days that, when woven together, reveal the rich tapestry of what you are achieving and who you are becoming. The best part is that, seeing the story line appearing, you can actively create what it — and you — will become.
We are all unsure of ourselves. Every one of us walking the planet wonders, secretly, if we are getting it wrong. We stumble along. We love and we lose. At times, we find unexpected strength, and at other times, we succumb to our fears. We are impatient. We want to know what’s around the corner, and the writing life won’t offer us this. It forces us into the here and now. There is only this moment, when we put pen to page.
I’m not sure if everyone secretly wonders whether they’re getting it wrong. A person or two comes to mind. I hope I’m wrong.
And that’s the last of Maria for 2013.
Ripping (ahem, referencing) to be continued in 2014.
Lots of love,