The most important thing is to wonder

“At one time I thought the most important thing was talent. I think now that the young man or the young woman must possess or teach himself, training himself, in infinite patience, which is to try and to try until it comes right. He must train himself in ruthless intolerance — that is to throw away anything that is false no matter how much he might love that page or that paragraph.

“The most important thing is insight, that is curiosity — to wonder, to mull, and to muse why it is that man does what he does, and if you have that, then I don’t think talent makes much difference.”

– William Faulkner

If curiosity and a desire to understand things are the primary requirement for being a writer, I certainly qualify. Now all I have to do is actually write.

This quote comes from one of my favorite blogs: They post great writing advice, quotes about writing, and interviews with writers. If you like to write, check it out.

I’ve read a lot of quotes on writing over the years, and a big theme that always comes up is: writing is hard work, and even professional writers have a hard time getting started every day. This is comforting to me, because that’s exactly how I feel. I never want to start writing (for some reason, even the laundry seems more interesting), but when I do, I’m so involved I completely lose track of time and wonder, “Why didn’t I want to do this?”

2 responses

  1. This was an ah ha for me – helping me articulate that it is my desire to understand things that propels my writing. In turn, the very act of writing brings understanding.
    I’ve been pondering the prayer of St. Francis this week – especially this phrase: grant that I may not so much seek …
    to be understood, as to understand…

    Thanks for this, Lisa Ann.

    1. “Writing brings understanding.” Absolutely. That’s why I love it.

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