Before we get to today’s Q4U, I just want to say thanks once again to all of my faithful blog readers. You’re awesome! I spent the week trying to answer reader questions and as usual, YOU addressed them better than I ever could. That’s the great thing about this little community we’ve got here. I never have to worry that I didn’t adequately cover a topic in a post because I know you’ll all chime in with your wisdom. So, thanks!
Most of us spend a good portion of our time learning about writing. We read books about writing, attend writers’ conferences, take workshops, participate in critique groups. And of course, we read Randy Ingermanson’s blog which contains some of the best teaching about writing on the web these days.
Along those lines, today’s question is:
What’s the best or most helpful writing advice or inspiration you’ve received? Share the goods with us. At some point I’ll create a blog post with my favorites.
For my entry, here is something I read recently about writing and “art.” (The Writer magazine, April, 2008.) It’s not advice per se, but I liked the quote and found it to be liberating.
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Art is a very big word, in its exact meaning, and the percentage of writings of artistic stature in any day or any field is very small. Writing is merely a means of communication, of expression; art lies in the man, not the medium. The work of art—the great book, the great story—is usually the result less of intent than of happenstance, the miraculous conjunction of a true talent at the height of its power with a subject perfectly suited to it. Shakespeare wrote not for posterity but for an audience of his contemporaries; most of us can afford an equal modesty. Posterity has a way of making up its own mind, and besides, it is hard enough to write anything without having to write a masterpiece.Allen Marple, 1963.