Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Archive for the 'writing inspiration' Category

Matthew Quick on Writing

”  The most difficult part of the writing process was and is sending my words into the world. Writing is a very personal, therapeutic, and maybe even spiritual process for me. And the emotions I feel when I am sitting alone writing are very intense and often not what I show people face-to-face. But writing […]

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Advice from Don Delillo

First you look for discipline and control. You want to exercise your will, bend the language your way, bend the world your way. You want to control the flow of impulses, images, words, faces, ideas. But there’s a higher place, a secret aspiration. You want to let go. You want to lose yourself in language, […]

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Quick Take:

Writing is like marriage or a healthy partnership. It needs nurturing, surprises, tender attention. Honesty is required and you cannot take your beloved for granted. And you cannot hold grudges for things that went wrong in the past. Keep writing, keep dreaming, have heart

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Writers need to stay curious

  “The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day. Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding, and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and […]

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The Ocean has a Voice

One of my favorite aspects about the Oregon coast is its sound. The gulls shrieking and caterwauling overhead, the restless waves crashing in or thundering in during a storm, the wind, the movement of tides. But before I lived near the Pacific, the earth’s largest ocean, I lived in the upper Midwest. The ancient shores […]

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Time is all we have

About twenty-five  years ago when I was in deep distress over a painful marriage, the need to leave it and a teenaged daughter who was enraged about my choices, I was desperate for answers, trying to figure out how I’d landed in such an unhealthy marriage. It was the late 80s and I went to […]

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Writing is Hard

Time spent focusing on art is a privilege and a gift. The writing doesn’t make me happy, but it makes me happier, and it makes everything else easier to take. Stephen Elliot, from an essay first published in Tin House             If you’re a writer you know that writing can be the best fun you’ll […]

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Writing that, because of its elegance or verve, commands not only attention but a place in the reader’s memory. Writing that, because of its unique approach to subject matter, brings an emotional melding with the reader. Resonance is responsiveness. Resonance is communion. Resonance brings a writer/reader atonement—a harmony intellectually, or emotionally, or both. Peter Jacobi […]

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