Charles Ghigna - Quotes On Writing

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Charles Ghigna - Father Goose® lives in a tree house in the middle of Alabama.
He is the author of more than 100 award-winning books from Random House, Capstone,
Disney, Hyperion, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Orca, Charlesbridge and Abrams. 

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Quotes on Writing


Style is not how you write.

It is how you do not write like anyone else.



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The difference between writing poetry and fiction.

Poetry knocks on the door. Plays coy. Begs for a game of chess.

Ficiton grabs you by the throat, throws you to the floor,

and won't let go until you've told the truth, the whole truth,

and nothing but ... the truthful lie.



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How do you know if you're a writer?

Write something everyday for two weeks, then stop, if you can.

If you can't, you're a writer.

And no one, no matter how hard they may try,

will ever be able to stop you from following your writing dreams.



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You can find your writer's voice

by simply listening to that little Muse inside

that says in a low, soft whisper, "Listen to this...



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Enter the writing process

with a childlike sense of wonder and discovery.

Let it surprise you.



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Poems for children help them

celebrate the joy and wonder of their world.

Humorous poems tickle the funny bone of their imaginations.




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There are many fine poets writing for children today.

The greatest reward for each of us is in knowing that our efforts

might stir the minds and hearts of young readers with a vision

and wonder of the world and themselves that may be new to them

or reveal something already familiar in new and enlightening ways.




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The path to inspiration starts

Beyond the trails we've known;

Each writer's block is not a rock,

But just a stepping stone.



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When you write for children,

don't write for children.

Write from the child in you.



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Poems look at the world from the inside out.



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The act of writing brings with it a sense of discovery,

of discovering on the page something you didn't know you knew

until you wrote it.



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The answer to the artist

Comes quicker than a blink

Though initial inspiration

Is not what you might think.


The Muse is full of magic,

Though her vision’s sometimes dim;

The artist does not choose the work,

It is the work that chooses him.



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Poem-Making 101.

Poetry shows. Prose tells.

Choose precise, concrete words.

Remove prose from your poems.

Use images that evoke the senses.

Avoid the abstract, the verbose, the overstated.

Trust the poem to take you where it wants to go.

Follow it closely, recording its path with imagery and metaphor.



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What's a Poem?


A whisper, 

a shout,

thoughts turned

inside out.


A laugh,

a sigh,

an echo

passing by.


A rhythm,

a rhyme,

a moment

caught in time.


A moon,

a star,

a glimpse

of who you are.



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A poem is a little path

That leads you through the trees.

It takes you to the cliffs and shores,

To anywhere you please.


Follow it and trust your way

With mind and heart as one,

And when the journey’s over,

You’ll find you’ve just begun.



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A poem is a spider web

Spun with words of wonder,

Woven lace held in place

By whispers made of thunder.



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A poem is a busy bee

Buzzing in your head.

His hive is full of hidden thoughts

Waiting to be said.


His honey comes from your ideas

That he makes into rhyme.

He flies around looking for

What goes on in your mind.


When it is time to let him out

To make some poetry,

He gathers up your secret thoughts

And then he sets them free.



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Workshop advice. Stop attending workshops.

Read other writers if you must, but for heaven sakes

save your soul and stay away from how-to workshops.

At worst, they'll drain you of your creativity.

At best, they'll have you writing like everyone else.

Keep what little originality you have left from childhood.

Protect it. Nurture it. Let it run wild. That's all you have.

That's all you need. The only way to learn to write is to write.

There is no other way. Workshops and conferences can only

take you away from the real work, the real world, of writing.



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Nursery rhymes are magic! They are a child's first introduction

to the joy of language and to the enchanted world of books. Their

lilting rhythms and rhymes, their short, simple sentences and their

clever repetition of key words and phrases start children's eyes, minds

and hearts dancing along the rhythmical lines of poetry and into a

lifelong love of lyrical language. It is the joyous power of poetry

that turns listeners into readers and readers into writers.



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Children are born with the need to express themselves.

They possess a natural instinct to be creative.

We can encourage those instincts and basic needs by providing

them with unstructured time to play, daydream, and explore.

We can encourage their individual instincts for creativity by filling

their worlds of wonder with art, music, dance, wordplay and rhyme.



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