Mol (mollyringle) wrote,

"Everything contributes."

After years of remembering this quote but not being able to remember who said it, nor being able to find it via Google, tonight I picked up a paperback of short stories that had been assigned in my undergrad days, and found it in the introduction. Here it is, for my records and your enlightenment:

"Carson McCullers...once asked Hortense Calisher if she had wanted her children, saying that she herself had felt children would interfere with her work. Hortense Calisher answered, 'Yes, I did want them, and yes, they did interfere--but everything does. And everything contributes. Writers know this instinctively.'"*

THANK you, Ms. Calisher! I have clung to those words for inspiration in dark and busy times even though I couldn't remember your name. And, appropriately, I picked up the book as something to look at while pacing around with the baby in the front carrier, getting him to fall asleep.

It's another way of saying, "If you don't live life, how can you possibly write about it?", which I have to keep reminding myself when I get tempted to lock myself up and avoid the world.

*Quote from Women and Fiction, ed. Susan Cahill, 1975.
Tags: writing

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