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  Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde (September 10, 2006)

Learning to be Reverent




"I honestly think in order to be a writer, you have to learn to be reverent. If not, why are you writing? Why are you here? Let's think of reverence as awe, as presence in and openness to the world.

Anyone who wants to can be surprised by the beauty and pain of the natural world, of the human mind and heart, and can try to capture just that—the details, the nuance, what is."—Ann Lamott in her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

You've probably heard your teacher speak of details, but not in the context of "awe." In Ann Lamott's view, our own response to the details and our "openness" is what makes the difference.

With all its troubles, the world we inhabit is unique and special. Communicating that to others will make our work as writers more than worthwhile.


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