Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

quote- Diana Gabaldon on writing August 13, 2013

Filed under: OUTLANDERishness,Quotations,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:10 pm
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Today (August 13, 2013) on Diana Gabaldon’s Facebook page, someone asked Diana whether she finds writing easy or difficult.  She replied,


 Well, some days it flows and that’s great;

other days it’s like shoveling rocks uphill.

With your nose.

If you’re a writer, on your project today, do you feel like you’re shoveling rocks uphill with your nose, or does it flow?  Tell us what you’re working on!


24 Responses to “quote- Diana Gabaldon on writing”

  1. C.J. Black Says:

    Just settling in for the night hoping words will flow – great to have that challenge.

  2. davidprosser Says:

    Someone has put a great big bung in at the bottom of my creational pipe. It’s all backing up and I’m ready to burst. Who knows what will happen then but when you hear the bang- DUCK ! xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  3. It looks like the rocks I was shoveling last time, went up my nostrils as I was trying to sniff out my daemon/muse’s fragrance, and straight to my mind/brain, and stayed stuck there ever since:-(
    Has anyone seen my Rhea?:-D

    • Have you ever tried using Story Cubes to loosen metaphorical rocks? There’s an app if you don’t have the cubes. Look up Rory’s Story Cubes and see if the images loosen up some ideas! I tell my students, the brain is in the pen, just start writing words and it will emerge!

      • Thank you Shawn, you are kind, but I’ll wait for my Rhea, as it’s been for the past 35 years…
        Probably she’s around, but I can’t hear as there might be too much “foreign” noise for the moment…:-D

  4. justme792 Says:

    It’s flowing amazingly well the last few days… Hope the flow will last for a while ^^

  5. brandyeli Says:

    Thank you Shawn, I like this quote. Working on the words and the story for a book for some years now. I feel that she is so correct. She reminded me of watching my dad work on his landscape over the years it took him to complete it. He used a huge metal lever and slide system with boards. Working with huge rocks for his retainer walls. Today it holds beautiful trees behind it. But like writing the right words, it could take hours and so much strength and patience to move one rock to its final resting place… words…. rocks…. each build their own type of magic. Thank you for the thought provoking quote. When I sit down later I hope this metaphor will be waiting for me. Rock after rock up a hill (perhaps to build a castle wall).

  6. Rachael Says:

    Been blocked for the past couple of days. I’m really hoping the flow comes back soon. Maybe tonight I’ll get the creative juices flowing!

  7. Leo Says:

    From a time to now I feel like if I’m shoveling rocks with me little foot’s finger … I hope this “block” will pass soon (… 3 months and counting …)

  8. Flowing clear and strong like Niagara Falls! I never run out of ideas. I’ve fill up so many journals with ideas that it takes a while for the stories or poems to get from my journals to my blogs!! Life in general is an inspiration for me. Living in New York City is the greatest resource in the world plus my own wacky, weird and quirky personal life. Working on my Mom’s Memoir, romantic poetry book and Lame pick-up lines that guys over 50 say to women over 50 on dates and during the course of relationships. Ah the Single life of the 50+ woman. I thought my 20s & 30s were strange & odd, well being in my 50s takes the cake!

  9. What a great image. Shoveling rocks uphill, with your nose. I like it.

    But you know, depending on how large the rocks are, it wouldn’t be too excruciating as long as you focused on one rock at a time. That’s the key, I think — finding the right rocks and focusing on one at a time.

    • Well, if you’ve read anything by Diana Gabaldon- she writes huge books, so she definitely knows how to roll rocks. Her main character travels through standing stones, so sometimes you can even avoid the rolling, and just walk straight through… ha.

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