Other People’s Thoughts

I’ll be honest: I’ve been feeling a little guilty about publishing quotes from other people all the time. After I got in the habit of writing my own posts every day, copying and pasting someone else’s words seems like a cop-out.

But today, my mentor, TK Coleman, reminded me that being able to identify and share profound insights from other writers is a skill of its own, especially when it’s accompanied by commentary that adds context. I realized that on one of my favorite blogs, Brainpickings, nearly all the posts are filled with lengthy quotes from other sources.

That said, I still need to do some work on my own material. But for now, here’s another gem from my hero Lamott:

Toni Morrison said, ‘The function of freedom is to free someone else,’ and if you are no longer wracked or in bondage to a person or a way of life, tell your story. Risk freeing someone else. Not everyone will be glad that you did. Members of your family and other critics may wish that you had kept your secrets. Oh, well, what are you going to do? Get it all down. Let it pour out of you onto the page.

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