I always wrote down anything I was going to deliver orally and still do, including sermons. This is because I think and convey ideas more clearly at a desk with a pen in hand than I do on my feet in front of a group of listeners. That may not be true for everyone, but it is for me. Thatâ€™s why books about writing and reading occupy much of my time.
My favorite writing books are Anne Lamottâ€™s Bird by Bird and Annie Dillardâ€™s The Writing Life. Because writing has been important to me, I love Dillardâ€™s book and keep at hand two vignettes from it. She wrote, â€śAppealing workplaces are to be avoided. One wants a room with no view, so imagination can meet memory in the dark.â€ť I have also appreciated her advice about using ideas that are hot and ready to be expressed: