To The Lighthouse —

Lighthouse, Japan Sea

“If you are writing the clearest, truest words you can find and doing the best you can to understand and communicate, this will shine on paper like its own little lighthouse. Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”

—– Anne Lamott

Hinomisaki Lighthouse

Hinomisaki Lighthouse, Shimane prefecture

High above the Japan Sea a little farther on the trail to the right in the photo stands a tall white lighthouse. It doesn’t pick itself up and run about, looking for readers, er, boats to rescue. It’s just waiting there for boats out in the dark and in the storm, boats that need to know where the land is. Just so, when we’re seeking, when we’re climbing and clambering, in our own dark and storms, we need words that shine for us, that guide us to safety. At times of great gratitude and thankfulness, we may even long to write such words for others. How to do that?

Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life tops my very short list of must-reads for for anyone who writes, or wants to, or wants to write better.  Also on my personal short list are Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within and Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

Do you have your own list of writer-lighthouses? And if so, who’s made your list?

This entry was posted in Japan, Quotes, Reading, Writers and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to To The Lighthouse —

  1. Wow! Twice in the same day on two great blogs I read an Anne Lamott quote, Prior to today I was unaware of her. Pleased here! With thanks.


  2. Quite beautiful and inspiring ………… have made me stop to think with this one!


  3. People keep mentioning Bird by Bird… I may just have to get a copy!


  4. Mabel Kwong says:

    That is a very meaningful quote. We always need a constant in our life, something symbolic of a lighthouse, to keep us sane during the rough times. For me, it’s writing. That usually lifts my spirits when I’m feeling down, even if it is writing for just a few minutes 🙂


  5. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I haven’t, but I’m glad to learn about yours!


  6. I don’t. I might try yours.


    • Touch2Touch says:

      Try any of those; if they’re not to your personal taste, there are more out there. I don’t read Stephen King’s books, they’re too scary for me. But this one about writing knocked my socks off. So go know —
      (Just between us, dearie — I think you do swell as you are! 🙂
      Glad to see you back —

      Liked by 1 person

  7. cocomino says:

    Beautiful photos Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  8. Rebekah says:

    A beautiful post. I will check her out … right now.


  9. Patti Kuche says:

    In the context of this brilliant and illuminating quote I remember with fondness the life saving words of so many different writers, Jeanette Winterson, Margaret Drabble to name two who in their stories, were/are to me are also “how to” lighthouses. Can’t wait to explore Anne Lamott and always a big fan of Stephen King’s telling it straight!


    • Touch2Touch says:

      Jeanette Winterson — a new name to me. I’ll have to explore —
      Did you ever by any chance read Miss Garnet’s Angel, by Sally Vickers? One of the few books that, through thick and thin, has remained on my book shelves.


  10. All three are on my shelf as well, but reading about being able to write doesn’t always make it so, I’m afraid. Or maybe I should re-read. 😉


  11. mybrightlife says:

    What a beautiful quote! It is going up in my kitchen first thing in the morning. I can’t wait to watch my girls read and absorb it! Anne Lamott it is. Thanks so much Judith.


  12. Lily Lau says:

    You made the quote give so much meaning to your photos, they match perfectly! I’d go towards that lighthouse with eyes closed 🙂


  13. Jen Payne says:

    I happened upon a copy of Goldberg’s Wild Mind Living the Writer’s Life. Definitely a favorite!


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