"Isak Dinesen said that she wrote a little every day, without hope and without despair. Someday I'll put that on a three-by-five card and tape it to the wall beside my desk. I have some three-by-five cards on the wall now. 'Fundamental accuracy of statement is the ONE sole morality of writing.' Ezra Pound. It is not everything by ANY means, but if a writer has 'fundamental accuracy of statement' going for him,he's at least on the right track.
"I have a three-by-five up there with this fragment of a sentence from a story by Chekov: '. . . and suddenly everything became clear to him.' I find these words filled with wonder and possibility. I love their simple clarity, and the hint of revelation that's implied. There is mystery, too. What has been unclear before? Why is it just now becoming clear? What's happened? Most of all - what now? There are consequences as a result of such sudden awakenings. I feel a sharp sense of relief - and anticipation.
"I overheard the writer Geoffrey Wolff say "No cheap tricks" to a group of writing students. That should go on a three-by-five card. I'd amend it a little to 'No tricks.' Period. I hate tricks."