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Writing Quote: Not the Same

August 1, 2010

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. 

~Charles Peguy

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?

Happy writing.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Lua permalink
    August 2, 2010 2:42 am

    Great quote Stephen…
    We all use the same words, yet they all sound so different. The key is honesty I guess.
    Have a great week 🙂

    • August 2, 2010 8:29 am

      Honesty certainly helps, I think. That’s part of what makes our writing styles unique.

  2. August 2, 2010 1:57 pm

    Give 5 writers the same story premise and you’ll end up with 5 different stories. 🙂 Though, I’m still trying to figure out my voice, and who I am when it comes to the page.

    • August 2, 2010 2:45 pm

      I don’t think it’s something we cand discover overnight. I think that’s why there’s such a long “apprenticeship” for writers.

      • August 2, 2010 6:20 pm

        Like any human, my voice changed for a while, but I think I’ve finally found it. Stick with it. Keep working it.

      • August 2, 2010 6:25 pm

        FWIW, I do think you have a distinct voice, Tessa. The style may be evolving a little bit, but the voice is definitely there.

  3. August 2, 2010 6:19 pm

    “So, what’re you still sitting around here, for?” Tsk, tsk, you ended your sentence with a preposition. 🙂

    I pull my stories from my imagination and a bit of my heart, mainly, I think. Rather than spilling all my emotions all over the paper, or writing strictly from my brain (cough, cough, Jules Verne, cough, cough).

    • August 2, 2010 6:21 pm

      Writer’s perogative. When you’re a famous author (like me 😉 ) you’re allowed to do all kinds of grammatically incorrect craziness. 😉 I’m sure I’m largely the same way – I need a bit of emotion and a bit of logic to make my stories work.

  4. The Knight permalink
    August 6, 2010 10:38 pm

    I think if I write then most likely I could create some enemies so I choose not to yet 😦 . I wish to be more courageous…like you! You seem to not care what people think…maybe I will have to grow to that point. I have written plays and poems…but I like those essays that talk about issues or thoughts. Those controversial issues are the ones I like to read about ;). Hey, in my page I posted a link to get the Book of Enoch if interested?

    • August 6, 2010 10:48 pm

      I’m afraid most weeks I’m not very controversial. I just write about what strikes me as interesting each week. Honestly, I strive to be fun and interesting to read, but not very offensive if possible.

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