Commonplace Book

From the Commonplace Book: E.B. White on winding the clock

This quote is from a touching letter E.B. White wrote to a reader about confronting what seems like a bleak future for the world and the human race. Since it’s been a bit rough lately, I thought I’d link to it today.

White, for me, is like Daniel Webster in The Devil and Daniel Webster. An American wizard whose spells are sentences which not only seem capable of better ordering the mind that hears them, but the world as well.

Hang in there, everybody.

For the Commonplace Book: Annie Dillard

Before private libraries and long before the invention of the search function, people used to copy important passages into notebooks called “commonplace books.” I’m not so old fashioned that I keep a written one, but I do have a tag in my files called commonplace book. I click on it for inspiration, so I thought I’d share some of the quotes with you, in the hopes you’ll be similarly inspired.

I read this quote years ago in The Artists Way by Julia Cameron and it has echoed in my mind ever since. It’s less of an inspiration and more of a challenge. We all carry a vision of our future selves with us, usually one that’s better off than we are today, one with more purpose from day to day, more money, more fulfillment, etc. And somehow the days we live, or are forced to live, never quite seem to add up to that future self, do they?

To me, this quote is about the small heralding of big things. Relationships are nourished and great ambitions are shaped one day, one hour, one minute at a time.

What will you do with the next one?

Quote from Joss Whedon on the use of creative writing

I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I am afraid of. -Joss Whedon

After about an hour of reading, I slip into a trance in which the revelations of the story are capable of thrilling me. One of the unexpected joys of writing for me is that, after an hour or two of it, I get the same thrills but from my own mind. This happens whenever I am working on a complex project, whether it’s for a client or for me. After solitary work, I am a bit more the master of my subject, my mind, and myself.