Colette On Writing

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Elephant

Writing is bringing together words to articulate a thought or organize a narrative. It is a straightforward undertaking that has the potential to generate far-reaching consequences.  When does this latent power become a reality?  How does an idea span a globe, transcend cultural norms, overcome time limitations? Perhaps the answer is in the definition.  Sidonie Gabrielle Colette differentiated between a writer and an author.

“Sit down and put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.”

Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

 

43 thoughts on “Colette On Writing

    • I agree! And to determine whether it it truly honest or whether we are just “beating ourselves up.” Whether we are encouraged to try again or whether we think that we are failures. Not a simple task!

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  1. Let us write, write, write and like Colette says most of it will end up in the shredder. Oh, well, so be it. Why not try?

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    • I have really enjoyed getting to know Colette this past week! Thank you for joining the conversation!!!

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    • Hi Arjun! If my memory serves me correctly, this elephant was just outside the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. I love elephants!!

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  2. Yet another inspiring post from you, how great!
    Well, I know from Klausbernd how hard it is to be an author; It hits me hard, when I see what all get dumped, no mercy! 🙂

    I like to think of writers like Anaïs Nin did:
    – The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. ~
    Have a lovely Sunday.
    Love
    Dina

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    • I can only imagine what it must feel when you see Klausbernd’s work being “dumped.” I weep even thinking about it.

      It seems that an “author” knows that they have the power to transmit a message, a story, but will only do so when they know that whatever is inside them has been captured in words. I do not consider myself an “author” nor do I presume to know how they feel. But, from what I can perceive, it seems that something has to be unlocked within. And words sometimes are limiting. I had a great day! Sunshine in Vancouver and we celebrated! Hugs!!

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    • I have a feeling that the blogging community is full of authors! The beauty of technology is that we can cut and paste, erase and rewrite, move paragraphs! I even have a “dragon” that writes on the computer screen as I speak. I think that we scrap more than we think we do! And I think we learn as we do and as we “talk” to each other! Your presence and comments as so much appreciated!

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  3. Dear Rebecca,
    thank you very much for this collection of pictures. Great! I have never ever seen so many different pictures of Colette.
    Have a great Sunday. Greetings from North Norfolk to Vancouver
    Klausbernd

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    • Dear Klausbernd, Thank you so much for your greetings. When I look at Colette’s photos, I try to imagine what she was thinking! Impossible of course! It gives meaning and importance to writing. And to the preservation of the written word. On of my favourite Colette quotes is: “No one asked you to be happy. Get to work.” Writing is work, it is demanding and liberating at the same time. I am not an author, but I am glad that we have those who are!

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      • Dear Clanmother,
        thank you very much for your inspiring quote of Colette. I am a writer (fiction and non-fiction) and I am often asked about inspiration. Quite some people think you are sitting in your armchair and waiting for the muses`s kiss. Well, that doesn`t happen. Colette is right, inspiration like happyness comes while you are working. I suppose in writing it`s the hardest to overcome the limitations of your psyche. At least for me writing is a kind of getting to know myself better and to clean my thoughts and feelings – besides the techniques of writing and being aware all the time that it is a service for your readers.
        Have a great week, enjoy life
        Klausbernd

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      • Dear Klausbernd, Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. The art of writing, like all other art forms, is not for the fainthearted. It seems that it is, in many respects, a solitary existence, an inward experience. I especially liked when you said, “I suppose in writing it`s the hardest to overcome the limitations of your psyche.” I was thinking about our dear friend, Jack Kerouac, when he said, “One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” (The Dharma Bums) Your visits and comments are so very much appreciated.

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  4. thank you, it is a nice post. I like to write what I think and have feeling for, because that’s something genuine, which is still my primary objective for writing, so I am a writer rather than an author in Colette’s definition (ha).

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    • Perhaps those who think and define themselves as “writers” are, in truth, the genuine authors!! 🙂

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  5. Another wonderful quote!! 🙂 I relate to this very much, I can be totally ruthless with a lot of my poems and other writing. I’ve learnt not to see every word as too precious to delete – it really isn’t. It’s like baking a cake – if one fails, bake another! I tell myself, there is more where that came from, every day is another chance to create something you didn’t know about yesterday!

    I’m finding your quotes and other pieces of information on people I’ve never heard of really fascinating! I’m not an academic person, my education was very disrupted when I was a child, and I didn’t do the University thing! The internet is so amazing to me, to hear about writers and the things they wrote about or spoke of, so keep the good work flowing! And don’t be afraid to write poetry – poetry is good for the soul, even if you write it just for your own eyes! 😀

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    • You have inspired me to try poetry one day!! Thank you for joining the dialogue and adding so much to the conversation. I especially like your cake analogy – there is more where that came from. Indeed, there is, as my scale reminds me…! And I appreciate your thoughts on life-long learning. To me, that is the very best kind of education.

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  6. Author and writer…thanks for the enlightening quote! I am neither! I ‘d like to consider myself as the thinker ( see my first blog curiosita…)….but perhaps I am not . I believe you are an author, Rebecca. What do you think?

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    • My dear friend, I am a writer! I love putting the words together, doing the research and uncovering the narratives. But I am not an author. I am very glad that we have them in our midst. Sometimes, it takes courage to appreciate them. They are generally those who both challenge our value systems and inspire us to think differently.

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      • No matter you are a writer or an author, my friend, I love to read your writing. You have inspired lots of people….you can see that when there are so many responses to your posts! Keep writing, Rebecca. Thanks for your writing!

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  7. I rarely spend more than a half hour writing my ditsy little poems. And I don’t usually go back and rewrite or change them. I find it fun at the moment and then it is time to move on. I don’t have any long range great work of words in me. But what I write is me. lol

    I have learned from my blogging experience to have courage to put something out there.
    And I have learned to have respect for those doing the same. I may not always understand what they are writing and they may not understand mine.

    But we both have had the courage to reveal a bit of ourselves.

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    • I agree wholeheartedly. You write from the heart – your readers know that with every line there is laughter and joy. It takes courage to put your thoughts “out there.” But it is worth the risk.

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  8. I usually sit down and write what is in my head to make the readers smile or laugh or up thumbing or even crying, but I am not sure whether I am an author or a writer. Just like I wrote this probably unwanted comment. I will keep writing. 🙂 I am always amazed by your post, Rebecca. have a great day.

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    • Your presence and comments are always so welcome! I have a book in my library that is a collection of letters that were written, dating back to the 1700’s. I wonder what those letter writers would think if they knew that their letters were treasured historical documents. I have a feeling that our posts and discussions one day will be read by those in the future. Who knows they may be even considered historical documents.

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      • I am so glad that you enjoyed the quotes. We have much to learn from each other; in the end, happiness comes from our friends and family. I look forward to your visits.

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    • Your words come through your photography. Every photo tells a story – a song without words. In the end, is not the words but the message, the memory or the symbol that comes through.

      “It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer… and everything collapses. ” ― Colette

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  9. Fascinating as usual and informative as usual…..What can I say differently? Enjoy all your posts and learn from them too…..

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