Thursday, September 23, 2010

There's a wonderful phrase that's been attributed to various writers over the years (most obscurely to Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, which means he's probably the true provenance) calling for the artist—the writer, in this case—to "murder your darlings."

As someone who writes notoriously long essays, emails and articles (not to mention comes from a long line of packrats), I have a passing familiarity with the predilection for hanging onto useless stuff. My year-long jettisoning of physical stuff has started making me aware of all the other, non-physical stuff that's also better-off purged.
The first three paragraphs of this newsletter, for example: sure, they were all brilliant words of inspiration, but they were not to the point; they helped get me to the point. And once I arrived, I let them go.
I've found that reasoning to be really helpful when trashing perfectly good stuff I've worked hard to create: like the energy people spent in the olden days priming a pump, efforts aren't wasted if they get you where you want to be.
Coleen Wainwright Killing your Darlings

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Restlessness is not a reliable indicator that more is required. Becoming addicted to hard work is not always in our best interest, nor will it ensure that our goals and dreams are realized.
Kristen Armstrong. Turning towards Taper on her blog Mile Markers.