May 27, 2011

Feeding the Lake

by Tanya Parker Mills

I've been reading a marvelous book by Madeleine L'Engle (author of A Wrinkle in Time and other classics). Entitled Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, the book reads like scripture for writers. I don't mean that it is scripture...only that I get the same feeling reading it that I do when reading the standard works. In any case, I highly recommend it.

I'll share one bit in which she quotes Jean Rhys's comment to an interviewer in the Paris Review:

"Listen to me. All of writing is a huge lake. There are great rivers that feed the lake, like Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. And there are mere trickles, like Jean Rhys. All that matters is feeding the lake. I don't matter. The lake matters. You must keep feeding the lake."

She goes on to write,

"If the work comes to the artist and says, 'Here I am, serve me,' then the job of the artist, great or small, is to serve. The amount of the artist's talent is not what it is about...The great artists, the rivers and tributaries, collaborate with the work, but for most of us, it is our greatest privilege to be its servant."

I am happy to be feeding the lake with all of you.


  1. Thanks for sharing this lovely idea, especially with those of us who merely sprinkle.

    I presume in the same vein, all rain that falls anywhere, on the streams or that which trickles from the ground to the stream, still feeds the lake. The rest nourishes the flora which feeds the fauna. Therefore, all writing -- even love notes -- is important.

  2. Thanks for your comments, Donna and Anna. And I agree, Anna--All writing is important. Wherever it lands, it becomes part of the "truth" cycle. :)

  3. Blogger finally let me in. I loved that all writing feeds the lake even the small little trickles. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I love this! thank you for sharing. It reminds me that none of our efforts are ever wasted. hugs~


Thank you for visiting. Feel free to comment on our blogger's posts.*

*We do not allow commercial links, however. If that's not clear, we mean "don't spam us with a link to your totally unrelated-to-writing site." We delete those comments.