An Encouraging Word · C S Lewis · Snark Monday · The Writing Life

C.S. Lewis had it Write

CSLewis-InkCureReading C.S. Lewis is like having coffee with a friend who is really smart. And very, very well read.

A thinking Christian, Lewis is profound, articulate and, at the same time, quite down to earth. What he says in a few words is a lot.

Here are some of my favorite Lewis quotes about writing:

“First, I do not sit down at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in my mind. If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about it. We do not write to be understood; we write in order to understand.”

Obviously, I’ve had this all wrong. Start writing, and then start thinking.

“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally–and often far more–worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”

Ha. My love of pirate stories and fairy tales is validated.

“It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.”

My bookshelves are cluttered with dead friends. Or rather, with their minds, preserved in book form. The book of Hebrews says of Abel, “He being dead yet speaks.”

“When you give up a bit of work don’t (unless it is hopelessly bad) throw it away. Put it in a drawer. It may come in useful later. Much of my best work, or what I think my best, is the re-writing of things begun and abandoned years earlier.”

There is hope for my stalled-out works-in-progress?

“The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.”

Right. I am lazy and expect to be spoon-fed. Like that’s working well.

And this last one, while not about writing, speaks to my tendency to feel sorry for myself.

“Crying is all right in its own way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.”

Note to self: Get over that two-star review on Amazon, Laura. (And tell me again why you are reading reviews?)

All right, this is quite enough sniveling from me. Happy Monday, friends!

6 thoughts on “C.S. Lewis had it Write

  1. I got two one star reviews. One lady didn’t like the alternating chapters, and I can understand that. The other just ripped me because she dislikes Christian books. Since the genre (Christian sci-fi) is on the cover, in the blurb, and in my bio, I don’t know why she bought the book in the first place. Did she buy it just so she could tear it up? I would love to invite her to avoid my books in the future.

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  2. Oh, those reviews. Why do we read them?

    Since being published I have learned that readers are fickle, bless them. I shouldn’t believe the glowing reviews–such as, for instance, that I am one gal’s “favorite living author”–any more than the worst ones.

    When I first began posting serialized work (such as Love Suffers Long and is Kind, which is still on our website, warts and all), reader responses meant a lot. I was stunned to be able to both entertain an audience and keep them coming back for more.

    As my skills have grown, I have learned to trust myself. And I enjoy interacting with readers as people (say, in a Facebook group) rather focusing on what they think of my books.

    I still avoid Goodreads, though. I see Goodreads as a reader sanctuary, where people can say whatever. I know I wouldn’t like it if I put up an honest opinion there, and then had the author come back at me, as sometimes happens.

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  3. Laura, I enjoyed your commentary interspersed with C. S. Lewis quotes. I am trying to round out an order from Barnes & Noble. I think I’ll add in a little C. S. Lewis. Thanks for the inspiration. I’m glad I was able to stop crying long enough to make my own tough decisions this week. BIG SIGH. (A friend from My 500 Words)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No better way to round out your order indeed. Thanks for stopping by, Denise. I’m sorry about the tough decision. May it be a major turning point for the better. Pain is like that. It causes us to grow. Rats, huh? πŸ™‚

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    1. Oh, the luxury of a hardback book written by a beloved author! A worthwhile purchase, Matt.

      Around the first of the year, the Kindle version of A Year With C.S. Lewis was on sale for something like $2.99. How I have enjoyed reading a little bit from him each day.

      It’s not the best way to read Lewis (in snippets), but it’s better than nothing. And how I need the reminder to slow down, trust God, and *think.*

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