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Friday, July 22, 2016

Writing whatever you can imagine

“The one thing emphasized in any creative writing course is 'write what you know,' and that automatically drives a wooden stake through the heart of imagination. If they really understood the mysterious process of creating fiction, they would say, 'You can write about anything you can imagine.'” – Tom Robbins

Born on this day in 1932, Robbins grew up (as he puts it) “as a hillbilly” in the mountains of North Carolina, the grandson of two Baptist preachers who he said were “mightily influential” in his development as a storyteller.

In addition to Even Cowgirls Get The Blues (both a bestseller and a highly popular movie) Robbins is the author of 8 novels, numerous short stories, many essays and several screenplays.  In 2000, Robbins was named one of the 100 Best Writers                    
 of the 20th Century by Writer's Digest magazine, and the legendary Italian critic Fernanda Pivano called Robbins “the most dangerous writer in the world.”    In October 2012, Robbins received the 2012 Literary Lifetime Achievement Award from the prestigious Library of Virginia.   

As he celebrates his 84th birthday, Robbins still maintains a regular daily writing schedule.  “I show up in my writing room at approximately 10 a.m. every morning without fail,” he said.  “Sometimes my muse sees fit to join me there and sometimes she doesn't, but she always knows where I'll be. She doesn't need to go hunting in the taverns or on the beach or drag the boulevard looking for me.”

Good words for any writer to heed.  It’s hard for your muse to be effective if she can’t locate you at in your creative space.

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