By Dick Loftin.
While reading the New York Review of Books this morning, I found a piece called “Study the Panther!” by John Banville. It is a review of the book, “Letters to a Young Poet,” by Rainer Maria Rilke. In the review is this gem on writing from Rilke:
“Nobody can advise you and help you, nobody. There’s only one way to proceed. Go inside yourself. Explore the reason that compels you to write; test whether it stretches its roots into the deepest part of your heart, admit to yourself whether you would have to die if the opportunity to write were withheld from you. Above all, ask yourself at your most silent hour of night: must I write?”
Read a portion of “Study the Panther!” in the New York Review of Books [January 10, 2013] Here. A subscription is required to read the full piece. The New York Review of Books is highly recommended by Endpaper Review.
Image of Rainer Maria Rilke from newtravelingshoes.blogspot.com
by Dick Loftin.
For those of us who love words, the pleasure in books is immeasurable. What I particularly enjoy is reading about writing. Reading what writers have to say about their craft inspires me and makes me practically run to the typewriter [yes, I'm old school.] This leads us to quotes about writing and reading. There are books galore, and websites with thousands of quotes attributed to the writerly mind. One of history’s greatest writers has to be Thomas Jefferson. He is often quoted from his works, including his greatest, The Declaration of Independence. But a recent Wall Street Journal article shows that while he is often quoted, he is more often misquoted. Lovers of words and writing will find the piece very interesting as I did. I have added a link below. Enjoy. And you can quote me.
Read the piece from the Friday, December 7, 2012, Wall Street Journal, Here.
Image of the recently released biography “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power,” by Jon Meacham. Photo by Patricia Wall of the New York Times. The book was reviewed by Janet Maslin in the New York Times, November 20, 2012. Read the review Here.
by Dick Loftin
Throughout the month on our Facebook page and Twitter, we post quotes from writers and other figures on pursuing excellence in our creative and personal lives. Here are some of our favorite Quotable Writer’s from November.
“Write more, Read more. ’15 minutes a day = 91 hours a year.’” What are you going to do with your fifteen minutes? http://t.co/5r9fp3v5
“When I started to count my blessings, my whole life turned around.” – Willie Nelson
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy
“It’s perfectly OK to write garbage, as long as you edit brilliantly.” – CJ Cherryh
“I find television very educating. Every time someone turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx
“Some people will lie, cheat, steal, and back-stab to get ahead, and to think, all they had to do is read.” – Fortune
“The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.” – Edwin Schlossberg
“Without words, without writing and without books, there would be no history, there would be no humanity. – Hermann Hesse
“It’s a perfect example of a fine piece of American equipment.” – David McCullough on his Royal typewriter, which he purchased in 1965 to write all of his books when the machine was already twenty years old.
“All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald.
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” – William Wordsworth
“A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.” – Abraham Lincoln
“You’ll never get a cup of tea large enough, or a book long enough to suit me.” – C.S. Lewis
Please look us up on Facebook at facebook.com/endpaperreview and Friend us. Follow us on Twitter, @endpaperreview. We post and tweet great information about books, reading and the writing life on Facebook and Twitter. Stay in touch. Tweet, post and comment often.
We love hearing from our friends around the world.
- Dick Loftin, Endpaper Review
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
-H. Jackson Brown, author of “Life’s Little Instruction Book.”
by Dick Loftin
We all have the same hour, day, week, month, year. It is one facet of life where all things are equal. We fill time with work, family, hobbies, and if there is a spare minute or two, some writing. In the order of the day, writing, the thing that makes us whole, is what happens last.
During World War II, Winston Churchill is said to have told General Dwight Eisenhower that he needed to find something else other than the war to think about. Churchill was a painter and encouraged Eisenhower to try it. He did, and while he thought his talent was limited, he enjoyed it.
The point is, everyone needs something to take their mind away from the worries of the day. For many, writing provides this escape. And for many, finding the time to indulge in this escape is a challenge. I write whenever I can. It can be a minute here, a half hour there, a title, an idea. I consider one good sentence, one good title, part of what I call “writing.” It doesn’t have to be ten pages of stunning prose. What it has to be is a starting point, a place to “launch.”
I’m impressed by the “big” writers—John Updike comes to mind—who could create writing out of thin air. Good writing. Writing worth reading. Updike could produce a piece of writing out of nearly anything and everything that came his way. Updike was a “working writer,” creating poems, reviews, and essays, in addition to his short stories and novels. When I look at one of his collections of essays, I marvel at how someone could have that many words in them.
Writing may be called a creative art, but in reality, it is creative work. Not one word will get written without sitting in the chair and punching the keyboard. Not one. I do my writing at night, after dinner, and on weekends. I write mainly in the quiet, no radio, no TV. Quiet allows me to think. I think about the writing. There is more to writing than words on paper, there is reading and thinking. Reading good writing—I believe—makes me a better writer. And thinking about what I have read enriches my writing, providing depth and form. The more I read of other people’s writing, I see more of what I want to read in my own writing.
So now, we’re back to time. Whether I have five minutes, ten minutes, or two hours, I try to create value, something I can use. Those five minutes may produce a title for a poem, a good line to finish another. And after a while, I have what I want: Writing.
“The Quotable Writer” is a new page on Endpaper Review, offering encouragement to all writers in every form of writing. The quotes are discovered in random places from anywhere, some not directly involved in the writer’s craft, but can apply to the writer at work.
“The bottom line is this: If you do nothing, nothing will happen.
If you don’t write, stories and essays and poems won’t get explored or built.
You won’t learn anything about writing by not writing.”
by Dick Loftin
“The Quotable Writer” is a new page on Endpaper Review to offer encouragement to all writers in every form of writing. The quotes are discovered in random places, some not directly involved in the writer’s craft, but can apply to the writer at work.
This month’s Quotable Writer is Dawn Haines from the September/October 2011 issue of Poets & Writers magazine. Her excellent article entitled, “Life After the MFA,” is a must read for all writers, whatever level of education. You may not have a degree in writing, but what you must have as a writer is an idea, a poem, a story, an essay. You must have the words. Haines is saying the key to writing is to write. She says, “I’ve written in my living room with my toddler at my feet. I’ve written in coffee shops, airplanes, in the car during soccer practice, and sitting up in bed. I’ve done some of my best revising in the in-between moments, all those times when I wanted to believe I couldn’t write because the setting or the situation wasn’t right or there wasn’t enough open-ended time.” Well said.
The article is available only in the print edition of Poets & Writers.