"If you write about what matters to you, then you’ll organically and naturally bring all of your talents and attention to it." Ron Carlson, The Writer Magazine, July 2007, ganked from
Emily Dickinson is much on my mind, as I am making my way slowly through The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. Here's a little something she once said about poetry: "If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?" Emily Dickinson in a remark to Thomas Wentworth Higginson
And from Jane Austen, on her fear of reading books that she knows to be clever: "I . . . am always half afraid of finding a clever novel too clever--& of finding my own story & my own people all forestalled." Letter to Cassandra Austen dated April 30, 1811, on trying to get a copy of Mary Brunton's latest novel, Self-Control.