Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “writing”

Art and Aliveness: Willa Cather on Attention and the Life of the Senses as the Key to Creativity
Art and Aliveness: Willa Cather on Attention and the Life of the Senses as the Key to Creativity

“Art is a matter of enjoyment through the five senses. Unless you can see the beauty all around you everywhere, and enjoy it, you can never comprehend art.”

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Gertrude Stein on Writing and Belonging
Gertrude Stein on Writing and Belonging

“Everybody who writes is interested in living inside themselves to tell what is inside themselves.”

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Poet Ross Gay on the Body as an Instrument of Thought and the Delights of Writing by Hand
Poet Ross Gay on the Body as an Instrument of Thought and the Delights of Writing by Hand

In praise of the manual-mental “loop-de-looping we call language.”

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Advice on Writing from Emily Dickinson’s Editor
Advice on Writing from Emily Dickinson’s Editor

“Oftentimes a word shall speak what accumulated volumes have labored in vain to utter: there may be years of crowded passion in a word, and half a life in a sentence.”

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Mary Oliver’s Advice on Writing
Mary Oliver’s Advice on Writing

“Look for verbs of muscle, adjectives of exactitude.”

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Pleasure and Spaciousness: Poet Naomi Shihab Nye’s Advice on Writing, Discipline, and the Two Driving Forces of Creativity
Pleasure and Spaciousness: Poet Naomi Shihab Nye’s Advice on Writing, Discipline, and the Two Driving Forces of Creativity

“Don’t start with a big idea. Start with a phrase, a line, a quote. Questions are very helpful. Begin with a few you’re carrying right now.”

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John McPhee on Writing and the Relationship Between Artistic Originality and Self-Doubt
John McPhee on Writing and the Relationship Between Artistic Originality and Self-Doubt

“Never stop battling for the survival of your own unique stamp.”

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Toni Morrison on the Power of Art and the Writer’s Singular Service to Humanity
Toni Morrison on the Power of Art and the Writer’s Singular Service to Humanity

“Art invites us to know beauty and to solicit it from even the most tragic of circumstances. Art reminds us that we belong here. And if we serve, we last.”

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French Philosopher Maurice Blanchot on Writing, the Dual Power of Language to Reveal and Conceal, and What It Really Means to See
French Philosopher Maurice Blanchot on Writing, the Dual Power of Language to Reveal and Conceal, and What It Really Means to See

“To see is certainly always to see at a distance, but by allowing distance to give back what it removes from us… To see is to experience the continuous and to celebrate the sun, that is, beyond the sun: the One.”

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Elizabeth Gilbert Reads “The Early Hours” by Adam Zagajewski
Elizabeth Gilbert Reads “The Early Hours” by Adam Zagajewski

An ode to the unsuspected gifts from the muse of sluggishness.

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