“Green 15”

Elizabeth Hay and Caroline Pignat at the Eden Mills Writing FestivalSometimes when it was my husband’s turn to drive this summer, I read aloud from William Trevor’s Selected Stories to help pass the miles. We often marveled at how compelling a story was for how much Trevor left out of its telling.

I was reminded of one of my (many) favourite quotes about writing, which you’ll recognize if you’re a regular reader of my blog:

The last thing that a poet learns is how to throw away,
And how to make you thrill and creep with what he doesn’t say.

— J.R. Lowell

Meeting Elizabeth Hay and reconnecting with Caroline Pignat at the Eden Mills Writing Festival this month was great fun, all the more so because we all actually got to hang out and talk writing, as writers tend to do.

During one chat, we talked about the joys of unwriting and Elizabeth recommended a New Yorker article she’d just read. It’s well worth the read, especially if

  • you’ve ever found yourself resisting an editor’s encouragement to tighten text
  • you just appreciate insights into the kinds of things some writers can get excited about, or
  • you’re curious about the title of this post!

Happy reading.

Happy unwriting.

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