Rainer Maria Rilke on Trusting in Nature, Loving Small Things & Living Questions

In the great silence of these distances, I am touched by your beautiful anxiety about life, …even more than I was in Paris, where everything echoes and fades away differently because of the excessive noise that makes Things tremble. Here, where I am surrounded by an enormous landscape, which the winds move across as they […]

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Anais Nin on June Miller—& a Rare Radio Interview

“Words and certain languages and certain rhythms belong to certain personalities — the writing takes on the color of the certain personality that I describe.” ~ Anaïs Nin Listen to a rare interview with Anaïs Nin Frank Roberts of KPFK radio interviews Anaïs Nin, following the publication of the first volume of her eponymous diary in 1966. […]

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Madeleine L’Engle on the 3 Most Important Things for Writers

“I have advice for people who want to write. I don’t care whether they’re 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think […]

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Mark Strand on Being in Creative Flow

“[When] you’re right in the work, you lose your sense of time… You’re completely enraptured, You’re completely caught up in what you’re doing, and you’re sort of swayed by the possibilities you see in this work. If that becomes too powerful, then you get up, because the excitement is too great. You can’t continue to […]

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George Saunders’ Short Animated Documentary on the Art of Storytelling

“A good story is one that says, at many different levels, ‘we’re both human beings, we’re in this crazy situation called life, that we don’t really understand. Can we put our heads together and confer about it a little bit at a very high, non-bullshitty level?’ Then, all kinds of magic can happen.” ~ George Saunders […]

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Ursula K. Le Guin on Where We Get Our Ideas From

It’s a big question—where do writers get their ideas, where do artists get their visions, where do musicians get their music? It’s bound to have a big answer. Or a whole lot of them. One of my favorite answers is this: Somebody asked Willie Nelson how he thought up his tunes, and he said, “The air is […]

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Diane Ackerman on Truly Living Our Lives

“The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day. Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat an unyielding, and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours, […]

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Tom Robbins on Writing and Making a Fool of Yourself

“Never be afraid to make a fool of yourself. …the furthest out you can go is the best place to be, but pushing the envelope has to come naturally, you can’t force it. Always compare yourself to the best. Even if you never measure up, it can’t help but make you better. I look for […]

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