You should paint like a man coming over the top of the hill singing. – Robert Henri

Amen. That’s also how you should write, sing, dance, draw, sculpt, act, play an instrument, take a photograph, design a building, live a life. I often think I’m the only teacher who talks about enjoyment as a crucial ingredient in writing. My students seem puzzled that I keep coming back to the subject, that I find so much amusement in what I see and hear and read every day. Life is serious! Writing is serious! Most writers take the act of writing with grim solemnity, fearful that they won’t be worthy of the gods of literature scowling down from Mount Parnassus. Or is it that they take themselves so seriously?

[Wat me ontroert is dat Zinnser naar een lezing van David McCullough gaat luisteren voor net afgestudeerde kunstacademiestudenten en daar deze quote noteert.]