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Don’t Know Where I’m Going, But I’ll Know When I Get There…

or writer with a cup of tea and random quotes.

I had occasion last week to pick up Dwight V. Swain’s book, Techniques of the Selling Writer. (click here to read my post about writing instruction books at the RWA-Women’s Fiction blog) Mr. Swain gave this definition of fiction: “A story is experience translated into literary process.”

The title of this post comes from my heroine, Rainey, in Lost Highways, the first book of the Valentine series. She expresses her confused determination with the statement, “I don’t know where I’m goin’, but I’ll know when I get there.” The quote surfaced from memory while writing the scene. I have never been in any of Rainey’s circumstances, but I certainly have felt the way she did a great deal of my life.

“The best thing about writing is to repeat the ordinary experience, and by putting that experience into language, it makes it available to the person who reads it in a way that it hasn’t been available before.”~ Walker Percy, interview, Parting the Curtains.

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Writing, the creative effort, the use of the imagination, should come first–at least for some part of every day of your life. It is a wonderful blessing if you will use it. ~ Brenda Ueland, writer and teacher.

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One accepts one’s limitations and works within them at the same time one studies and practices to improve. ~ Jack M. Bickham, best selling author and teacher.

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Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go. ~ Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones.

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I had forgotten, but just like always, the writing itself reminds me. Writing is what helps me find me. ~C.A.M.

3 Comments
  1. I’m with Nola! The dust can wait. That boy sure is a cutie-pie!
    Brenda

    February 8, 2010
  2. Nola at the Alamo #

    I love the Natalie Goldberg quote, too! So many times I find myself doing things I “have” to do instead of what I “love” to do. As I grow older, though, I find myself gravitating more and more to the things I love to do!
    Hope you are staying warm and dry on this cold winter day!

    February 8, 2010
  3. Mary Byrne Eigel #

    Thanks for the your post. I am an artist trying to complete a first book. I needed to hear “trust in what you love”. I know what it was like struggling to get ideas on canvas, and that finally happened. But not without a lot of stuff that went in the trash. So I am hopeful that the shapelessness of my writing will eventually take some shape.
    Mary
    bluestarmoon.wordpress.com

    February 8, 2010

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