Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong (shadesong) wrote,
Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong

A quote on writing, before my nap

This is from Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott. I'm only excerpting a few wee things (just one here), but really I recommend the whole thing; it's good and funny and insightful and true and I like her - I like her voice.


Some stuff Anne Lamott says about writing.

"There's an old Mel Brooks routine, on the flip side of the "2,000-Year-Old Man", where the psychiatrist tells his patient, "Listen to your broccoli, and your broccoli will tell you how to eat it." And when I first tell my students this, they look at me as if things have clearly begun to deteriorate. But it is as important a concept in writing as it is in real life.

It means, of course, that when you don't know what to do, when you don't know whether your character would do this or that, you get quiet and try to hear that still small voice inside. It will tell you what to do. The problem is that so many of us lost access to our broccoli when we were children. When we listened to our intuition when we were small and then told the grown-ups what we believed to be true, we were often either corrected, ridiculed, or punished. God forbid you should have your own opinions or perceptions - better to have head lice. If you asked innocently, "Why is Mom in the bathroom crying?", you might be told, "Mom isn't crying; Mom has allergies." Or if you said "Why didn't Dad come home last night?", you might be told brightly, "Dad did come home last night, but then he left again very early." And you nodded, even though you knew that these were lies, because it was important to stay on the adults' good side...So you may have gotten into the habit of doubting the voice that was telling you quite clearly what was going on. It is essential that you get it back."
Tags: quotes, writerbrain
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