Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

“Everything is complicated. I love what I do, but damn that email just made me wonder why I stick with it. I’m tired, but I want time to myself after work instead of an early bedtime. I’m busy, but shh! Don’t say that, it makes you a terrible person. There’s too much time wasted talking in circles, but my free time is guilt-ridden. I’m excited for the next big project, but weighed down by what it will take to get it done… I’m eating clean this week, but I need a glass of wine, like, right now. I want to do it all. I also want to do absolutely nothing.”
Sarah Tolzmann on her blog “Note to Self”

I feel you, sister.

Quote of the Day

Today’s quote of the day is more like a mantra of the year.









Lovely lettering by Sean Tulgetske; link via Swiss Miss.

Quote of the Day

“You say no so you can say yes. It’s sad in the way that all limitations are, but also liberating. You are human and finite and precious and fumbling. This is your one chance to spend your gifts, your attention, most importantly your love, on the things that matter most. Don’t screw it up by being sentimental about what could have been or delusional about your own capacity. Have the grace to acknowledge your own priorities. Prune and survive.”

– Courtney E. Martin in The Spiritual Art of Saying No

Quote of the Day

“Without notice, my parents put my childhood house up for sale the other day. They’re moving to Florida, and they didn’t invite me…. That’s OK, though. I’d never be able to find myself in Naples anyway, surrounded by people who aren’t interested in transformative experiences….

I’ve decided to travel to some country in the East to write a memoir about traveling to some country in the East. After doing minimal research, I think I’m going to Bangkok. The city, for one, permits many puns I can use for a title. I don’t know much about Thailand, but most importantly, from what I can gather, I have the highest chance of witnessing a revolution. I hope this future coup, which apparently occurs every five years or so, will allow me to see and write about my parents’ abandonment in a different light. I have no chance of figuring out things here, especially considering I won’t have anywhere to stay. And besides, I can’t sit idly in the state of my birth. Just like Hemingway needed Paris and Spain and Italy, and Orwell needed Catalonia and India and some other place to make this clause have the same rhythm as the last one, I need my inspirational haven abroad.”

– Alex Norcia in the excellent “I’m Traveling to Some Country in the East to Write a Memoir About Traveling to Some Country in the East

And a bonus: my other recent favorite McSweeney’s post: “Fake Massachusetts Towns.”

Quote of the Day

“Judgment, a good bedside manner and an ability to conjure occasional magic in the space between writer and editor is rare, but can produce treasure.”

–David Carr in the New York Times on what makes a great editor


I also love this quote from the same article:

“A great editor has a deft touch, the ability to hack and slice and make it seem like minor surgery. They channel your voice, rather than grafting theirs onto your piece. But whether it’s a book editor or a newspaper one, the greatest share this quality: They ask the right question. Genius starts with, ‘What if…?'”

Tim Egan

Quote of the Day

“How many times have we cracked open a new book, hoping that it will be good, hoping that it will take us back to that dark, forgetful river that is reading, the kind we did as children when we first fell in love with books? How many times have we hovered over the pages, squinting our eyes, hoping an author does not continue to do that thing that annoys us and will keep us from going completely under, sucked into the current of the story? Oh, we have spent days ignoring the fact that we need to break up with our boyfriends or quit our horrible jobs, while eating sugar cookies and reading novels that are maybe even only so-so, for hours and hours so that parts of our bodies go numb. Reader, I know you well, my likeness, my friend!”

–Rufi Thorpe in her letter from a debut author

Quote of the Day

“It is abundant with ritual. It abandons what is inappropriate. It does not downplay beings’ tiny roots of virtue. It upholds the teaching. It is concise in speech. It is pliant. It is skilled in appropriate statements. It defeats opponents. It is timely. Its conduct is natural.”

– Good advice for living from a soon-to-be-published translation of a Buddhist sūtra (The Absorption of the Miraculous Ascertainment of Peace, trans. Dharmachakra Translation Committee, forthcoming)

Quote of the Day

“What matters is not publication or success (success is bad for your prose) but the practice of the imaginative act. Our damaged values depend on it.”

– Janet Burroway in conversation with the Chicago Manual of Style

Quote of the Day

“He had put the past in order. For any writer, that’s a fundamental motivation, especially for somebody who has suffered. Writing could obscure the truth and trap the living, and it could destroy as well as create. But the search for meaning had a dignity that transcended all of the flaws.”

– Peter Hessler, Oracle Bones

Quote of the Day

“Charles knows that it is intimacy that matters. Picking up a drawing enables us to ‘catch the thought of the artist in all its freshness, at the very moment of manifestation, with perhaps even more truth and sincerity than in the works that require arduous hours of labour, with the defiant patience of the genius.'”

– Edmund de Waal, quoting from Charles Ephrussi’s Albert Dürer et ses dessins. I believe the same could be said of journals and first drafts.