A Quote

This blog is about writing practice. The rules of writing practice are available here. It’s a technique for writing taught by Natalie Goldberg. Here’s what Natalie Goldberg says it’s about.

“I teach people to accept their minds,” she says, “just like in zazen—it’s all just studying mind. No good, no bad. In writing practice we use the same basic principle as in zazen— you make a commitment for a period of time, and you keep the practice going no matter what. In the case of writing practice, it’s usually ten minutes. The basic rule is: keep your hand moving. No editing, no going back or crossing out, forget about spelling or punctuation. If something comes up that feels dangerous, go for it. That’s where the juice is. By keeping your hand moving you don’t leave any space for what we call monkey mind—the commentator, the internal critic, to come in and get in the way.”

No good, no bad. No space for the monkey mind, the commentator.

I know it’s tempting to comment when you like what someone’s written, but that invites judgement, a focus on good and bad.

Thank you for coming here to write with us. While you’re here, please, just write. No good, no bad. Just write.

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “a quote.”

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Author: Virginia DeBolt

Writer and teacher who writes blogs about web education, writing practice, and pop culture.

6 thoughts on “A Quote”

  1. A quote from the famous 1910 speech given by Teddy Roosevelt at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. It is one of my favorites because of its profound meaning.

    “It is not the critic who counts; … The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

  2. A quote can have a devastating effect on a piece of writing. To use a quote attributed to someone who is, or has been very well respected in their field can give a certain authority to a point that one wants to make. A well chosen short, pithy quote, can emphasise your point perfectly. Indeed some folk hide behind quotes to communicate many little irritations that they feel in their daily lives. One of my favourite quotes is~~”The only real valuable thing is intuition” by Albert Einstein.

  3. ‘To thine own self be true;and it shall follow, as the night ,the day’. This quote from the Old Testament is one of the most sublime quotation I have ever heard which has influenced me so profoundly as to move one to tears. Being true to one’s own self, is all that matters . Nothing else does. The sheer power of this statement leaves one reeling in its wake. True, be true to yourself.That’s all.

    1. “And it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man”. (Hamlet Quote Act I, Scene III).”

  4. I looked over my bank account with the same repetitive dismay I gave to the contents of my refrigerator. 800 dollars. That was the quote the mechanic gave me for repairs on my 10 year old car. I sighed, got up from my desk and went out to get the mail. Maybe there will be a surprise check from some deceased, distant relative, I mused. As I flipped through the junk mail and catalogs, an envelope fell to the floor. It was from the publishers of the journal to which I’d submitted a contest entry. I stared at it with a mixture of fear and excitement.

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