The only thing to do

From the Paris Review, by Dan Piepenbring

“The creative impulse is such a fragile thing, but we have to create now. We owe it to ourselves to do the work. I want to encourage you. If you aspire to write, put aside all the niceties and sureties about what art should be and write something that makes the scales fall from our eyes. Forget the tired axioms about showing and telling, about sense of place—any possible obstruction—and write to destroy complacency, to rattle people, to help people, first and foremost yourself. Lodge your ideas like glass shards in the minds of everyone who would have you believe there’s no hope. And read, as often and as violently as you can. If you have friends, as I do, who tacitly believe that it’s too much of a chore to read a book, just one fucking book, from start to finish, smash every LCD they own. This is an opportunity. There’s too much at stake now to pretend that everything is okay.”


9 thoughts on “The only thing to do

  1. moorezart November 12, 2016 / 1:58 pm

    Superlative, Steven — I thank you for sharing this gold-leafed inspiration with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steven Baird November 12, 2016 / 4:33 pm

    Thank you… this piece really grabbed my attention and I thought it appropriate to share.


  3. patriciaruthsusan November 19, 2016 / 2:21 pm

    This is powerful. A bit too violent for my tastes but it has a large grain of truth. You can’t force people, though but help them to learn–try to educate.. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Steven Baird November 20, 2016 / 6:39 pm

      Thank you. My interpretation (non-violent) is to write as purposefully and passionately as possible, to stretch the imagination to its limit and not settle for what’s easy and safe.

      Liked by 1 person

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