Rebecca Solnit is a San Francisco writer, historian, and activist. She is the author of twenty books about geography, community, art, politics, hope, and feminism.
Rebecca Solnit says it about writing and does not mince words. Here are a few of her inspiring thoughts on what writing is and how we can write better and from the soul.
Rebecca Solnit exhorts you to write. Quite a lot. Because it is practice and effort that leads to bad writing becoming good.
“Write what you most passionately want to write.”
“Write bad stuff because the road to good writing is made out of words and not all of them are well-arranged words.”
2. Typing it out is just a part of the writing process. Often, you think that you need to have a daily word goal. Or a weekly. You forget that writing is not just churning out words. There is a lot that goes into the strengthening of the writing muscle.
“Thinking, researching, contemplating, outlining, composing in your head and in sketches, maybe some typing, with revisions as you go, and then more revisions, deletions, emendations, additions, reflections, setting aside and returning afresh…”
3. Read aplenty, but don’t be influenced by trends. Read a lot to shape your voice and to find your influences. But, be yourself. There is no use going after what is trending and what others are writing, if it does not speak to you deeply.
“Find your own influences… Originality is partly a matter of having your own influences: read evolutionary biology textbooks or the Old Testament, find your metaphors where no one’s looking, don’t belong.”
To not belong is relieving.
4. Listen to others but know when to listen to your soul. You may have to ask for feedback on your writing. Listen to improve and to find new insights. But above all, know yourself and listen to your inner voice.
“Listen to what makes your hair stand on end, your heart melt, and your eyes go wide, what stops you in your tracks and makes you want to live, wherever it comes from, and hope that your writing can do all those things for other people.”
5. Passion and dedication endure, mere talent might not. Unless you live passionately and feel deeply and know that following your joy means obstacles and time, your talent won’t be enough.
“It starts with passion even before it starts with words.”
Dear reader, share the quotes that you find inspiring.