Wednesday, June 13, 2012

words of wisdom from Barbara Kingsolver

Last week I went to a two day book conference, titled Books In Progress at The Carnegie Center. It's was fantastic!

After two one I left feeling both excited and overwhelmed. I thought "This must what it feels like my students after the first day of yoga teacher training!" I was humbled by the whole experience.

The biggest highlight for me was hearing Barbara Kingsolver speak Saturday morning for an hour and a half. Yes!  Here are some notes I took that I hope you can find some value in.  Simply substitute the task of writing with what ever you've got going on. ;)

*I love maps. I love to know where I'm headed, even in my writing. (I knew she was a gal after my heart when you spoke of a good ol fashion process/system/map)

*Revision is like hoeing a row of corn. You just get in there and do it. (Is that not great?! Something to said about work, focus, and routines. And I loved the visual)

*You've got to dig down to get the nuggets. You will have a pile of dirt at the end. It's not wasted. It's part of the process. (She speaks of practice and more processes and how nothing is wasted. Sigh)

*Writing is  privilege, it's an honor. Virginia Woolf wrote these (of novels). Who do I think I am? I was not raised to be audacious. I am terrified anew each time. (Even Miss Kingsolver has doubts)

*When asked about any rituals she has she responded that she doesn't do anything in particular. I give myself permission not to be perfect. Then I go to town.  It's important. Then don't be attached. You may not get an agent. (It was these words that led to my writing aha. And of course the yogi in me loves that she spoke to practice and non-attachment, which just so happen to be the ways to attain the state of yoga. More sighs).

*When asked what keeps her writing her response was "addiction!" She said she wasn't driven solely by publishing. I love to do this. I have to tell these stories. I'd do it even if no one ever read them. (Wow. Just wow)

*If you're breaking the rules, know that you are, know the risks, and the potential payoffs.

*Often the answer to what's stopping you is "Go ahead and do it." Write.

*Brevity is the soul of everything.

And with that....I'll leave you to be dear Friend.


1 comment:

Mia said...

How great that you were able to listen to Barbara Kingsolver! I really enjoyed her "Poisonwood Bible" and "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle".

I think I need to apply these to my dissertation writing...