When life shows up at your door, meet it there.

When I discovered Annie Dillard’s book “The Writing Life” (in my thirties) I read it three times in a row. As I read, I scribbled down many passages, one of which I kept taped to the wall of the office where I worked. When we moved, I lost the note.

This morning, in an online writing class I’m following, here it was again.

“One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a better place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water.”

I’m posting it here because it applies, not only to writing but to living.

Spend it all – don’t save up your life for some later day when you imagine you’ll be more ready, more comfortable, more experienced, less busy, less anxious, less overwhelmed.

When life shows up at your door, meet it there – meet it right away.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }


Beautiful, Amy…thank you!



Perfection, Amy – Thanks so much for sharing … We all need these gentle reminders … & Happy New Year!



so very true. xo



Well said!



I haven’t read the book (though I excitedly just sent a sample of it to my Kindle via Amazon) but this has been a topic at large on my mind lately.

Learning to go with the ebb and flow of both writing and life in general is something I’m trying to be more conscious of since I feel I “hoard” moments and ideas much too often.

Love the simplicity of this!


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