Happy Birthday, Lee Smith, born 1 November 1944
- If you’re writing, you’re always living your life in a very attentive manner, because you have to.
- My advice for young women writers is just do it. Don’t wait for some ideal point in your life when you will finally have “time to write.” No sane person ever has time to write. Don’t clean the bathroom, don’t paint the hall. Write. Claim your time. And remember that a writer is a person who is writing, not a person who is publishing.
- I like a book. I like to read for four hours at a stretch.
- The practice of writing itself is a way of staying in touch with the deeper, more meaningful self and the experience of writing.
- When you’re just flat-out writing, it’s very much like prayer. You’re totally out of yourself, and you come back to yourself with this sort of feeling that you don’t get from anything else.
- I think writing has always had a powerful corrective influence and possibility. We have to write about what’s good, and we also have to write about parts of our culture that are not good, that are not working out. I think it takes a new eye.
- People are so busy positioning themselves before the screen and talking on the damn cellphones, communicating, that we’re not reading, and in fact we’re not really communicating, either. We’re not talking to each other. There’s just all these screens and wires and technology in between.
- We have to pay attention. It’s a lifetime of paying attention and of listening and looking and seeing images and hearing stories and noticing things.
- What I didn’t understand, all those years when I was waiting for my life to start, was that it had already started. I was already living it! Those were the most important years, and I didn’t even know it.
Lee Smith is an American fiction author. Her writing awards include the O. Henry Award and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction. She is the author of Fair and Tender Ladies.
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