Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"Listen When the Muse Sings"

Thomas E. Kennedy: “Henry Miller once said that if you don't listen when the Muse sings, you get excommunicated. The fastest way to a writer's block is to be super-critical of the words that are offered up from whatever part of our mind, soul or body that the words are offered up from. A writer has an impulse to write something but generally, in my experience, does not know what he or she is going to say until it is said. To berate and reject the words that are being offered up to you even as they are being offered up is to insult that in you which is most important to you as a writer, that place where the spirit becomes word and takes form.

“Thus, the fourth most important lesson I have learned and try to share with my students is just that. Allow your story to tell itself, allow your words to take form, do not discourage them. Afterwards, after you have a draft, that is the time to put your critical spectacles on and begin to cut, expand, rephrase, polish, revise. But first allow the vision to come forth; only later the revision. Allow your words to speak, allow your stories to be told.”

Read the three other writing lessons from Thomas E. Kennedy here, in a piece from the Glimmer Train newsletter.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.