It’s weird how it happens. You’re reading along and something the author says hits you like a slap upside the head. “That’s it!” you exclaim. “That’s exactly how I would have said it, if only I could have found those same words.”
What makes quotations memorable is how many times they impress readers as the perfect way to make a salient observation. Yesterday I commented on what Richard Mabry said in a recent interview:
“God will change people with your writing, even if it only changes one person—because writing will change you.”
Today I found two more excellent quotations that I think are well worth repeating.
Anna M. Clark‘s first book, Green, American Style just launched this month. In a guest post on Rachelle Gardner’s blog Anna says, “Now that I’m here, I realize that there is no here at all. Publishing the book, it turns out, is not a destination but a milestone in the journey.”
The other quote comes from Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting, published in 1999. In it author Robert McKee suggests that “Anxious, inexperienced writers obey rules. Rebellious, unschooled writers break rules. Artists master them.”
For me, they’re all “slap me upside the head” quotations — ones I wish I’d said myself but, of course, didn’t. I have a binder in which I keep a lot of writing resources and you can bet I’ll be adding these to my inspiration section.
Do you have a favourite writing-related quotation?
4 thoughts on “Something Else They Said”
These are great. Anna is so right. Thanks for this, Carol. I have a quote at the end of my signature that I really don’t know the origins of. I can guess, but I’d be wrong.
“Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.” Standing Bear
I use it because it’s something that I try to live by.
I always find these bits of wisdom fascinating. I found your quote as a part of a larger one altho’ I don’t know the source either. Perhaps from one of the three books he wrote?
“The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man’s heart away from nature becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans, too.” (Chief Luther Standing Bear, aka Ota Kte and Mochunozhin, Oglala Sioux, December 1868 – February 20, 1939)
The best style is the style you don’t notice. ~Somerset Maugham
This quote reminds me not to try impressing people with my writing skills. I want them to pay attention to what I’m writing, not how I’m writing it.
That’s a good one, and I like your application of it… very wise. Sometimes keeping our authorial selves out of the picture is difficult.