Whether we are friend, spouse, or teacher to the writer, we must guard against  trying to make a plum into an apricot. If I encourage a writer to revise in a certain way that pushes against his temperament, then of course he will resist, and properly so… We write what we can, as Raymond Carver had said. A well-meaning reader can hasten a writer on the way toward all she can write. But a reader/teacher/critic can also lengthen the journey by sending her in the wrong direction.

~ Jeffrey Skinner, “Push Hands: Balancing Resistance and Revision” in The Practical Writer: From Inspiration to Publication (Penguin Books, 2004)


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