Mar. 10, 1997


by Seamus Heaney


Today's Reading: "Digging" by Seamus Heaney from SELECTED POEMS 1966-1987, published by Noonday, a division of Farrar Straus & Giroux.

Today is the birthday of educator and women's leader Hallie Quinn Brown, born in Pittsburgh in 1845.

Cornet player and composer Leon Bismarck "Bix" Beiderbeck was born on this day in Davenport, Iowa, 1903.

Kathryn McLean (Forbes), author of MAMA'S BANK ACCOUNT, was born in San Francisco on this day in 1909.

Writer and country veterinarian James Herriot (ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL), was born on this day in Glasgow, Scotland, 1916.

It's the birthday of playwright David Rabe (STICKS AND BONES), born in Dubuque, Iowa, 1940.

Zelda Fitzgerald, author and wife of F. Scott, died on this day in 1948 when a fire broke out at the Highland Hospital.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




  • “Writers end up writing stories—or rather, stories' shadows—and they're grateful if they can, but it is not enough. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough” —Joy Williams
  • “I want to live other lives. I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get. Writing is my way of making other chances.” —Anne Tyler
  • “Writing is a performance, like singing an aria or dancing a jig” —Stephen Greenblatt
  • “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up.” —John Edgar Wideman
  • “In certain ways writing is a form of prayer.” —Denise Levertov
  • “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Let's face it, writing is hell.” —William Styron
  • “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” —Thomas Mann
  • “Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials.” —Paul Rudnick
  • “Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper.” —Padget Powell
  • “Writing is very hard work and knowing what you're doing the whole time.” —Shelby Foote
  • “I think all writing is a disease. You can't stop it.” —William Carlos Williams
  • “Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck.” —Iris Murdoch
  • “The less conscious one is of being ‘a writer,’ the better the writing.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is…that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is my dharma.” —Raja Rao
  • “Writing is a combination of intangible creative fantasy and appallingly hard work.” —Anthony Powell
  • “I think writing is, by definition, an optimistic act.” —Michael Cunningham
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