Novelist Ann Patchett’s best advice for writers:

Don’t be precious. Don’t polish polish polish. Think of yourself as a pipe full of sediment and gunk. And the only way you get clean water is to flush an enormous amount of water through that pipe. THERE IS JUNK IN YOU. Terrible, sentimental…bad poetry…horrible. You need to write it out. You can’t just think it out. You have to to flush it out, get it out, and behind it comes clear water. 


[Aspen Writers’ Foundation Winter Words Series, Wheeler Opera House, Aspen, Colorado, February 7, 2012

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