Monday, March 23, 2015

Why a Writer Must Care about Place

In her blog, writer and teacher Patty Smith recommends a wonderful writing exercise based on this quotation:

To provoke [my students] — I quote Scott Russell Sanders in his book Staying Put: Making Home in a Restless World: … “…how can you value other places if you don’t have one of your own? If you are not yourself placed, then you wander the world like a sightseer, a collector of sensations, with no gauge for measuring what you see. Local knowledge is the grounding for global knowledge. Those who care about nothing beyond the confines of their parish are in truth parochial, and are at least mildly dangerous to their parish; on the other hand, those who have no parish, those who navigate ceaselessly among postal zones and area codes, those for whom the world is only a smear of highways and bank accounts and stores, are a danger not just to their parish but to the planet.” …

Read the rest of her thoughtful meditation on race and space and check out her suggested writing exercise, which will work for any genre: 


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