When selecting writing quotes each week, I often (though certainly not always) look for common themes in the posts of the week, and try to find quotes that reflect those themes. Last week’s quote was a little random, in that sense, but this week’s is a bit more consistent with the emergent theme of this week’s posts.
I wrote a bit about this personality test we use in my MBA program called the Birkman, and I wrote about about trying to craft unique and interesting and nuanced characters. And, on the Weekend Assignment, I wrote about writing “Fan Letters” and shared a few things about myself that you may not have already known. The common theme in all of those posts isn’t too hard to tease out. It’s that each of us is unique, and different. We have different strengths and weaknesses, different histories and personalities. And so, I found this quote to be rather apt:
A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.
Yes, we’re each different – even we writers. Each of us writers approaches writing in a different way, uniquely. Some of us are more structured and methodical: we plan out what we’re going to write before we sit down to do it. Some prefer it looser and more free-wheeling. They like to “fly by the seat of their pants”. (Me, personally, I’m usually more structured – but sometimes, when I’m just not sure what else to do, I just let it go and see what happens.) Likewise, some writers have a certain facility with words – they always seem to have the right word at the right time. Others labor like they’re in a word-mine, and they throw out piles of literary pyrite before they find a vein of pure gold.
So, you know… be true to yourself. Be who you are. There’s only one thing that is common to all writers: you must write.
So, what’re you still sitting around here, for?