This morning I finally finished read Writers on Writing Volume II from The New York Times. That book has been part of my writing practice for a few months now, one essay at a time, and I really enjoyed it. Some essays were more fitting for where I am than others because the topics range the gamut of genres and styles, but all in all, I really enjoyed seeing the practices and thought processes of various writers.

Here are a few quotes I underlined:

So much of life falls between the seams of the sayable. It’s ironic that poets use words to convey what lies beyond words, that poetry becomes most powerful where simple language fails, allowing one to bridge the conscious and unconscious, and even festoon that bridge with sensations and subterranean desires. — Diane Ackerman

But the creative artist can change the world. A true writer opens people’s ears and eyes, not merely playing to the public, but changing minds and lives. This is sacred work. — Allegra Goodman

Some days you plod, some days you soar, but always you churn out copy on demand, whether you feel the muse or not. (Where is the muse, by the way? Does she ever show up? Occasionally you hit it, grinning behind the nominal privacy of your partition like a Mardis Gras mask. — Anna Quindlen speaking of journalism (although I think she could be speaking of teaching, too)

The wonderful thing about writing is that it forces you to confront yourself in a way you don’t usually have to. That is, needless to say, also the terrible thing. — Jonathan Rosen

Music is also in stark contrast to writing. Music is already perfect, sure-footed, whereas I’m struggling to remember a word, frame a description, invent an action. If for me music is the secret sharer, it is a friend who has no needs and encourages me to trust that beauty can be achieved in this life, at least theoretically. — Edmund White

Just a few tidbits to spur you on in your day and your writing. Enjoy.

Writers on Writing Volume II from the New York TimesWriters on Writing: Volume Two – The New York Times