"As a child, I read because books–violent and not, blasphemous and not, terrifying and not–were the most loving and trustworthy things in my life. I read widely, and loved plenty of the classics so, yes, I recognized the domestic terrors faced by Louisa May Alcott’s March sisters. But I became the kid chased by werewolves, vampires, and evil clowns in Stephen King’s books. I read books about monsters and monstrous things, often written with monstrous language, because they taught me how to battle the real monsters in my life.
"And now I write books for teenagers because I vividly remember what it felt like to be a teen facing everyday and epic dangers. I don’t write to protect them. It’s far too late for that. I write to give them weapons–in the form of words and ideas-that will help them fight their monsters. I write in blood because I remember what it felt like to bleed.” ― Sherman Alexie
“I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I'm afraid of. ” - Joss Whedon
“To be an artist means never to avert one's eyes.” ― Akira Kurosawa
“I wrote to find beauty and purpose, to know that love is possible and lasting and real, to see day lilies and swimming pools, loyalty and devotion, even though my eyes were closed, and all that surrounded me was a darkened room. I wrote because that was who I was at the core, and if I was too damaged to walk around the block, I was lucky all the same. Once I got to my desk, once I started writing, I still believed anything was possible.” ― Alice Hoffman
"Stories are the only enchantment possible, for when we begin to see our suffering as a story, we are saved.” ― Anaïs Nin
“I read the way a person might swim, to save his or her life," says Mary Oliver. "I write that way too.”
Mary Oliver, too, in her own quiet, luminous way, is writing in blood.
Dorothy Allison advises, "Write from your fear" ... and she of all people would know. But also write from your joy, your anger, your compassion, your love and humour and exasperation. Write from the heart but also from the belly, the liver, the spleen, from your hands and your feet. Tell the stories that are yours and only yours to tell. And don't stop. Don't ever stop.
Images above: a light dusting of snow on Nattadon Hill, with Meldon Hill beyond.