Style
is not how you write

Quips & Quotes
for Writers, Readers, Artists & Dreamers

(a book in progress)

by Charles Ghigna

illustration by John Caldwell



*   *   *


“Style is not how you write.
It is how you do not write like anyone else.”



*   *   *


“How do you know if you’re a writer?
Write something everyday for two weeks, then stop, if you can.
If you can't, you're a writer.  
And no one, no matter how hard they may try,
will ever be able to stop you from following your writing dreams.”



*   *   *


“You can find your writer's voice
by simply listening to that little Muse inside
that says in a low, soft whisper, "Listen to this ..."


*   *   *


“Enter the writing process
with a childlike sense of wonder and discovery.
Let it surprise you.”


*   *   *


“Poems for children help them
celebrate the joy and wonder of their world.
Humorous poems tickle the funny bone of their imaginations.”


*   *   *


 “The path to inspiration starts beyond the trails we've known.
Each writer's block is not a rock, but just a stepping stone.”


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“When you write for children,
don't write for children.
Write from the child in you.”


*   *   *


“Poems look at the world from the inside out.”



*   *   *


“I live on the Isle of Write.”



*   *   *



“The act of writing brings with it a sense of discovery,
of discovering on the page something you didn't know you knew
 until you wrote it.”



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“The answer to the artist comes quicker than a blink,
though initial inspiration is not what you might think.
The Muse is full of magic, though her vision's sometimes dim.
The artist does not choose the work, it is the work that chooses him.”



*   *   *



“Poem-Making 101.  
Poetry shows.  Prose tells.
Choose precise, concrete words.
Remove prose from your poems.
Use images that evoke the senses.
Avoid the abstract, the verbose, the overstated.
Trust the poem to take you where it wants to go.
Follow it closely, recording its path with imagery.”


*   *   *


“What’s a poem?
A whisper, a shout, thoughts turned inside out.
A laugh, a sigh, an echo passing by.
A rhythm, a rhyme, a moment caught in time.
A moon, a star, a glimpse of who you are.”


*   *   *


“A poem is a little path that leads you through the trees.
It takes you to the cliffs and shores, to anywhere you please.
Follow it and trust your way with mind and heart as one,
And when the journey’s over, you’ll find you’ve just begun.”


*   *   *



“A poem is a spider web spun with words of wonder,
woven lace held in place by whispers made of thunder.”


*   *   *


“A poem is a busy bee buzzing in your head.
His hive is full of hidden thoughts waiting to be said.
His honey comes from your ideas that he makes into rhyme.
He flies around looking for what goes on in your mind.
When it's time to let him out to make some poetry,
He gathers up your secret thoughts and then he sets them free.”


*   *   *


“Workshop advice.  Stop attending workshops.
Read other writers if you must, but for heaven sakes
save your soul and stay away from how-to workshops.
At worst, they’ll drain you of your creativity.
At best, they’ll have you writing like everyone else.
Keep what little originality you have left from childhood.
Protect it.  Nurture it.  Let it run wild.  That’s all you have.
That’s all you need.  The only way to learn to write is to write.
There is no other way.  Workshops and conferences can only
take you away from the real work, the real world, of writing.”


*   *   *



©Charles Ghigna




5 comments:

  1. Hi Charles, What a wealth of wisdom here! Love these, and am going to bookmark and come back (with scissors and glue). Thanks!

    Violet N.

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  2. I can imagine making some poetry tees with these, Charles! Great collection.

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  3. Thanks, Violet and Tabatha. Appreciate it!

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  4. You know I've long been a fan of your writing wisdom.. have used that "two week" advice with kids. And writing from the child inside you is THE BEST advice ever for those writing for younger audiences. Thank you!

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  5. And thank YOU, Irene! Your endless poems and stories lift the hearts of many readers, young and old -- and you continue to inspire us all with your generosity, enthusiasm and energy. I really don't know how you do it. You take care of your beautiful family, yet find time to share your soaring wings with others.

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