February 8, 2012

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart"

Here's a lovely quote from Charles Dickens.

Making books ... is very much like building houses; and the author is a more or less happy combination of architect and carpenter. A house, when it is properly put together, is a harmonious union of foundation, frame, clap-boards, doors, window, and shingles: and when one comes to think it over, a properly made book is about the same thing. Anybody can collect all these units--these bits of material--but everybody cannot put them together in the right way.

Or put them together at all, for that matter.

I never thought I was a juggler--or a homebuilder--or a worker of puzzles. (Actually, I used to work puzzles, but I don't think I'd have the patience now.) But when you're a writer, you're all of those things and more.

Architect. Carpenter. Hammer-slammer. Puzzle-builder.


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