Presently, I’m hard at work on, “I Remember Jacqueline”. But I wanted to share these words. Ms. L’Engle doesn’t say anything profound. There isn’t anything unique or clever here. Nothing one hasn’t heard before.
She speaks the truth.
And I don’t think any of us (myself included) can ever here that enough. The Muse helps those who show up to do the work.
Madeline L’Engle (from her 1963 Newbery Medal Acceptance Speech): “…And I’ll never forget going to the final exam and being asked why Chaucer used certain verbal devices, certain adjectives, why he had certain characters behave in certain ways. And I wrote in a white heat of fury, “I don’t think Chaucer had any idea why he did any of these things. That isn’t the way people write.
I believe this as strongly now as I did then. Most of what is best in writing isn’t done deliberately.
Do I mean, then, that an author should sit around like a phony Zen Buddhist in his pad, drinking endless cups of espresso coffee and waiting for inspiration to descend upon him? That isn’t the way the writer works, either. I heard a famous author say once that the hardest part of writing a book was making yourself sit down at the typewriter. I know what he meant. Unless a writer works constantly to improve and refine the tools of his trade, they will be useless instruments if and when the moment of inspiration, does come. This is the moment when the writer is spoken through, the moment that a writer must accept with gratitude and humility, and then attempt, as best he can, to communicate to others.”