Anyway, writers are all frenetic bundles of experiences and influences. Might I have eventually realized how to improve my prose on my own? Probably. But would the stories I write be the same if I didn’t have Michael Swanwick in my head saying that all stories are a balance between dinosaurs and sodomy? Almost certainly not. [via]
At the beginning of the semester, I tell my students that writing is a system of black squiggles that we use to conveying meaning. In other words, writing is itself, ab initio, an insane enterprise. And we go on from there.