Why Writers Should Keep Their Mouths Shut


Amy Bloom worked as a psychotherapist before becoming a writer. In a Publishers Weekly interview, she’s asked how that training influenced her writing.

Her answer:

“It’s a great gift. It was the training: to listen, to observe. Those skills are very much what you need as a writer. Keep your mouth shut and see what’s happening around you. Don’t finish people’s sentences for them. Don’t just hear what they say, but also how they behave while they’re saying it. That was great training for writing.”

Why Writers Should Keep Their Mouths Shut

Finding Stories Everywhere Part 3

I can’t resist a news story that starts like this:

High in the skies over Kazakhstan, space-age technology has revealed an ancient mystery on the ground.

 Satellite pictures of a remote and treeless northern steppe reveal colossal earthworks — geometric figures of squares, crosses, lines and rings the size of several football fields, recognizable only from the air and the oldest estimated at 8,000 years old.

I love the specific, quirky details:

  • The search that led to the discovery was inspired by a Discovery Channel program, “Pyramids, Mummies and Tombs.”
  • The earthworks were spotted using Google Earth.
  • The discovery was made by Dmitriy Dey, described as a Kazakh economist and archaeology enthusiast. (All the best stories about the discovery of Ancient and Mysterious  Ruins start with an “amateur enthusiast,” don’t they?)

And this is the kicker:

The so-called Steppe Geoglyphs remain deeply puzzling and largely unknown to the outside world.

That leaves plenty of room for a writer’s imagination to fill in the blanks….

Finding Stories Everywhere Part 3