May 20

Annie Dillard Just Took Me to Church


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The other day, Naomi Gordon-Loebl tweeted a screenshot of some wisdom of Annie Dillard and I realized I had to —no, I needed to—share it with y’all here.

“One of few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.”

WHEW! This excerpt comes from Dillard’s classic book The Writing Life. And, as Naomi notes, the wisdom “applies way beyond writing.”

And here are some links to Naomi’s work that I wanted to share with y’all: