my birthday present

my birthday present
My awesome birthday present 1/26/11 (see story under my first post)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More on Writing

Lisa shared this poem with me after the last post about writing. I think it is very humorous, ironic and true.  

For the Young Who Want To
Marge Piercy

Talent is what they say
you have after the novel
is published and favorably
reviewed. Beforehand what
you have is a tedious
delusion, a hobby like knitting.

Work is what you have done
after the play is produced
and the audience claps.
Before that friends keep asking
when you are planning to go
out and get a job.

Genius is what they know you
had after the third volume
of remarkable poems. Earlier
they accuse you of withdrawing,
ask why you don't have a baby,
call you a bum.

The reason people want M.F.A.'s,
take workshops with fancy names
when all you can really
learn is a few techniques,
typing instructions and some-
body else's mannerisms

is that every artist lacks
a license to hang on the wall
like your optician, your vet
proving you may be a clumsy sadist
whose fillings fall into the stew
but you're certified a dentist.

The real writer is one
who really writes. Talent
is an invention like phlogiston
after the fact of fire.
Work is its own cure. You have to
like it better than being loved.

Here are a few clever quotes on writing.

We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little.
Anne Lamott

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
Cyril Connolly

Writing is a lot easier if you have something to say
Sholem Asch


pkcyphert said...

There are just so few really good quotes on sheep lice these days.

Jayne said...

I love both Anne Lamott and Marge Piercy. We live in a society that values "work" above all things and judges "success" by who much money you make and how famous you are. As my friend, Dan, loves to say, "It takes great ego strength to write!"