Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Quotation of the Week: Joshua Henkin

"Every writer is faced with the same question: do you write about what you know or what you don't know? Some of my writing students, particularly my undergraduates, err to one extreme or the other. They write simply what they know, which is a transcript of Friday night's keg party, or simply what they don't know, which is Martians. What they need to do—and here I'm quoting a former writing teacher of mine—is write what they know about what they don't know or what they don't know about what they know."
Source: Joshua Henkin, "Risk," Glimmer Train Bulletin #35

4 comments:

John Vanderslice said...

Another great quotation, Erika. I too get questions like this all the time from my students and that quotation sounds like exactly the right reply. You shouldn't avoid what you know but you shouldn't stand pat with it either.

Erika D. said...

I'm so glad that you are enjoying this feature, John.

Terresa said...

Brilliant quote, this. It's a keeper.

austere said...

Now to remember this advice.
Perchance to use.