Advice of the Day

I’m reading The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children by Nancy Lamb–a wonderful craft book–and this quote really resonated with me, so I thought I’d share it with you all:

“One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.” ~Annie Dillard

Some New Quotes

On Writing:

“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.” ~Vladimir Nabakov

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” ~Mark Twain

“Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” ~Flannery O’Connor

On Creativity and Imagination:

“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras, 1942

“Sometimes imagination pounces; mostly it sleeps soundly in the corner, purring.” ~Terri Guillemets

“Some stories are true that never happened.” ~Elie Weisel

 

(Thanks to www.quotegarden.com!)

After a long hiatus…

I can’t believe I haven’t made a post since November! Time really flies during the holiday season, I guess. It’s now 2011…another year full of opportunities and possibilities. (And snow–that seems to be a theme so far this year. How does the weather affect your creativity?) 

The new semester is underway, and I’m hard at work on my Master’s thesis. Posts may be sporadic this spring, but the blog is going to get a facelift once I graduate in May. I’m undergoing a personal transformation of sorts–viewing myself as a writer first and psychologist second, now, as opposed to the other way around–and my blog will reflect that change as I move forward.

Until I’m able to finish another research post, I’ll at least try to share a few thoughts here and there on the books I’m reading, the projects I’m working on, writing tips I come across, etc. Here are a couple of quotes to lead things off:

On Writing:

“I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests.” ~Pablo Neruda

“A line will take us hours maybe; yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought, our stitching and unstitching has been naught.” ~William Butler Yeats

On Creativity:

“The men of experiment are like the ant; they only collect and use. But the bee . . . gathers its materials from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own.” ~Leonardo DaVinci

“I do not seek, I find.” ~Picasso

A Few Inspiring Quotes (Happy Monday!)

On Writing:

“There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write.” ~ William Makepeace Thackeray

“To finish is a sadness to a writer–a little death. He puts the last word down and it is done. But it isn’t really done. The story goes on and leaves the writer behind, for no story is ever done.” ~ John Steinbeck

On Creativity:

“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.” ~ Robert Bresson

“Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.” ~ Rita Mae Brown

Yup, the site’s still active!

It’s been much too long since my last real post–I apologize. This semester has shaped up to be a busy one, as I’ve been working on my Master’s thesis and am hoping to defend it at the end of May (wish me luck!).

I’m currently working on another research-related blog post, though, on how the time of day might affect creativity. So stay tuned!

In the meantime, here’s another good quote I recently came across:

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
~Scott Adams

Two Quotes: One on Writing, One on Creativity

“First, I do not sit down at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in my mind. If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about it. We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.”

~Robert Cecil Day-Lewis

“The whole difference between construction and creation is this; that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.”

~Charles Dickens

 

 

Site’s Still Active!

“The strokes of the pen need deliberation as much as the sword needs swiftness.” 
~Julia Ward Howe

 

Yes, dear readers, this is why it’s been ages since my last post–I’ve been deliberating, you see.

Okay, that may be a bit of a lie. I mentioned this in one of my last posts, but let me reiterate–grad school is BUSY! I barely have time to eat, sleep, and waste time on Facebook, let alone write new blog posts. But, there is good news: I’m taking a graduate course this semester entitled “Psychopathology,” and, for my final paper, I’ve chosen to write about the “mad-genius hypothesis”–the speculated link between mental disorder and creativity (think Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Vincent van Gogh). This means I will be reading a plethora of research articles on the topic and will have some very interesting new posts for you between now and the end of the semester.

For now, check out a few related  links below. Keep in mind, however, that most of these articles are based on anecdotal, rather than empirical, evidence, and even the claims grounded in research may be controversial. So put on your skeptical glasses and click away:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199901/troubled-talent

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199507/portrait-the-artist-manic-depressive

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200705/genius-and-madness

Thanks for continuing to visit the site; be sure to pass the link along to friends and family who might be interested as well, and check back soon!

A New Quote…

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”

~Cyril Connolly

 

 

(This is what I like to tell myself while I remain an unpublished author, haha)

I know it’s been about a month since my last post, and I will try to make another one as soon as possible. Unfortunately I’ve been quite busy lately. Fall semester is underway, and–who knew–grad school is apparently a lot of work! But check back toward the end of the month and hopefully some new material will be up.

A Beautiful Quote, and a New Link

“Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Often the attachment is scarcely perceptible.”

~Virginia Woolf

 

Also check out the BlogRoll on the sidebar for a link to a great Psychology Today blog, “Science of Small Talk.” It’s written by social psychologist Sam Sommers, and his frequent focus on current events, as well as his humor, make it an interesting and entertaining blog even for non-psychologists.

 

I know I’m due for another research post–work in the psych lab has been keeping me busy lately–so I will definitely be making one in the near future. Check back soon!

Another good quote…

“I don’t believe in it. All writing is difficult. The most you can hope for is a day when it goes reasonably easily. Plumbers don’t get plumber’s block, and doctors don’t get doctor’s block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working, and then expects sympathy for it?”

~Philip Pullman (answering the question, ‘What do you do about writer’s block?’)

 

I feel like this quote is particularly relevant to my current situation. I’m on the brink of starting the sequal to my young adult fantasy novel, but I’m having a hard time getting the first words down on the page. Still, I wouldn’t say that I have writer’s block. Writing is difficult, yes…but as Pullman says, so are many other professions. Rather than sit around and wait for a flash of brilliance, we must keep our noses to the grindstone and just hope that, by some stroke of luck, we will one day fall into a groove. I’ve found that sometimes it’s best to actually sit down and make myself write, temporarily setting my worries about quality aside and reminding myself that there will be plenty of time for revision later on. Usually, what starts out feeling forced ends up morphing into a natural flow.   

And speaking of putting something down on a blank page…I do realize that I need to make a new research blog post soon. The topic for my next post was going to be cryptomnesia, or unintentional plagarism, but now I’m wondering if it should be inaction inertia instead (which would focus on why it becomes more difficult, once we start procrastinating, to start moving again).

Any preferences, hypothetical readers? If not, I’ll let you be surprised. Check back soon.

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