Sunday, July 27, 2008


I've been realizing this summer, once again, how difficult it is to keep the hedges and fences and weeds from popping up in the subdivisioned area that my writing life has become.

I like being a writer who finds the creative process worms its way into my academic essay writing modes and the things I study academically worm their way into my fiction and creative non-fiction. And so I'm creating this blog in an effort to declare that Robert Frost was being ironic when he said "good fences make good neighbors." I think this even applies to different roles in my own life.

I'm a graduate student who writes a lot of papers. I'm a fiction writer who tends to think in novels--I have several in various stages of completion. And I tend to work on other short things from time to time: creative non-fiction essays, poems, and such. And then there are the journals. I think it's important to let these things bleed into one another and inform each other, while reflecting on the differences.

This virtual space, then, will be a place where I talk about my experiences of and reflections on the writing life, in all its incarnations--to knock down the walls between the various parts of my writerly self. And I want to keep joining the conversation going on among writers and readers--I'm hoping this blog will be another way I can do that.

So why the title? I love T. S. Eliot's poem Four Quartets from which the phrase comes, and it was Eliot, after all, who said "immature poets imitate; great poets steal." So it's an homage as well as a writerly theft. But beyond that, it expresses for me one of the primary tensions of the writing life as well as of life in general.

As a writer, I know it's important for me to do two things: (1) remain still enough to notice, to think, to express, and to be patient to wait once my writings have been sent out in the world to seek their fortune; and (2) keep actively moving in the writing life--to keep my projects moving through the creative process and out into the world.

So here it appearing in a feed reader near you: Still and Still Moving: A New Blog on the Writing Life by Deborah Leiter (Hm, think I've watched too many movie trailers over the years?)

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