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learning all the time :: 28 february

earlier this week, Doug Neill shared a link to a radio interview with Kim Stafford.  it’s a worthwhile listen.  after i listened, i also watched a seven minute interview.  he said something about daily writing that i can’t stop thinking about.  he said, if you’ve written that day, no matter what else happens, you can call it a good day, a day well-spent.

Kim Stafford

i’ve started revising a novel that i wrote before i had any children.  it’s an ungainly thing, but on many mornings you can find me up in the quiet house, with a first cup of coffee, and the manuscript in hand.  it’s taken a while to adjust my expectations–how much i can get to in a morning, how finished the writing will be.  But afterall it was Kim’s dad William Stafford who said if you are writing and you get stuck, lower your standards and keep going.


  1. I immediately thought, “Kim got that from his father.” Isn’t it something how we had our time with Kim and had our personal workshop?” We were lucky and brave and ever since enriched by that short association. And I am proud of your revising efforts. The hard work of the craft.

  2. Kortney: Andy sent me the link to your blog last fall and I love dipping in to the One Deep Drawer now and again. I admire your integrity and intention around a life well lived (or 5 lives well lived!)
    Regarding this post: some years ago, I heard Kim expound on an alternative explanation for his dad’s well known and oft quoted quip. He suggested that there is also a hint of lowering one’s standard (as in jousting standard) and the possibility that the way we wrestle with and fight with our writing impedes its progress. Lots to think about.
    Prize those quiet, still, coffee fueled mornings as winter blusters away. Thank you for your vision and your words. Peace – Kelli Clark

    1. i love that layer of meaning to the “lower your standard” quote…especially in this knight-loving household! so happy to know that you’re reading along here, Kelli.

      peace keep you.

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