Tuesday, July 16, 2002


Posting a quote everyday got me thinking about them--in general, I mean. I've been collecting them for some time, in little notebooks I fill up, read sometimes, keep forever. Sometimes I make little notes about them. But when I started posting them to my blog, I started noticing that the same quotes are everywhere--on other sites, on big portals, in e-mails. And if I'm just posting the same old quotes, why bother? Folks can read 'em anywhere.

So I think I will try not just posting the quote, but adding a little commentary--why do I like this or that quote? What's it mean to me? Why care about a quote? And I may repeat some quotes I've already posted, ones I especially like, just so I remember just what they mean.

So, here's a couple, one a repeat, one a new one, that really spoke to me.

"I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, 'Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.'" -- Ernest Hemingway

"The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write very time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would never do anything". -- John Irving

I posted that John Irving quote before vacation--I don't really define myself as a "writer," because, partly, anyway, I don't write every free minute. I might think about it or feel guilty about not writing, but I just don't seem to have the ambition or whatever to do it. But I have tried to write more in the past year--my journal, for sure--now this blog--and more poetry. It was coming easy for me last summer--everything seemed a poem, for awhile--every thought, every fragment. And it's not so easy now--not writing as much poetry--but thinking about it, and about writer's block, and if there is such a thing, and how frustrating it must be for real writers who "lose it"--just the small amount of despair I feel at not being very "poetic" (even if badly so), how must that feel to someone who defines themselves as a writer, who has pressure on them to write, who is addicted to the high of writing well--it helps, if just a little, to understand why a writer would suicide. As Hemingway did. But did he not listen to his own words--or perhaps he forgot them--or perhaps his reason for not living was not even attached to writing.Who knows? But his words came as great comfort to me, as I think this summer about how hard the words are coming--to think, 'All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.' Because that takes a lot of pressure off--not to have to write the great American novel, or the most perfect sonnet, or some convoluted epic poem. Especially in a poem, there must be at least one true sentence--that is often what comes to my mind when a poem starts--a true phase, description, line, sentence--and all falls from there. So if I can just let my mind wander and let that one trueness come to top--perhaps the rest will follow.

My Writer's Digest Experience

I keep submitting poems to the Writer's Digest yearly contest--I placed the first time I ever submitted, in 1988 I think, but no luck since. Still I try. I fantasize about getting a call from them--I have won! Seeing "Writer's Digest" on my caller ID or something.

Well a couple weeks ago it happened--there it was on my caller ID. And a message from them! Could it be? Could my fantasy come true?

Yea, right. When I finally made contact (after some phone tag) it was much more prosaic. I had left some numbers off my credit card when completing my online submission. Oh well!


My I miss vacation. Being around, on, or in the lake almost every day. I love the lake. So sometimes I visit electronically. You can too: Put-in-Bay webcam at:

No comments:

Post a Comment