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Learning More from Louis L’Amour

I finished reading Louis L’Amour’s memoir Education of a Wandering Man last week in the spare moments when I wasn’t writing or doing research for my writing. So many of you seemed to enjoy the quotations I shared from it in my previous post that I decided to share a few more this week. Perhaps these gems will increase your appreciation of reading, learning, and then sharing what you’ve learned through your own writings.

On Books and Reading

“[A] book is less important for what it says than for what it makes you think.”

“I was never without a book, carrying one with me wherever I went and reading at every opportunity.”

“A parent or a teacher has only his lifetime; a good book can teach forever.”

On Learning

“It is not enough to have learned, for living is sharing and I must offer what I have for whatever it is worth.”

“The beauty of educating oneself . . . is that there are no limits to what can be learned. All that is learned demands contemplation, and so one is never at a loss for something to do.”

“Knowledge is like money: To be of value it must circulate, and in circulating it can increase in quantity and, hopefully, in value.”

On Writing

To deal with writer’s block, “Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

In dealing with rejection, “My secret was that no sooner did I put something in the mail than I wrote something else and sent it off. Each rejection was cushioned by my expectations for the other manuscripts.”

“[W]riting is always and forever a learning process. One is never good enough and one never knows enough. . . . No matter how good a writer becomes, he can always be better.”

“The rough times were made smoother by the realization that it was all grist for the mill, and that someday I would be writing, with knowledge, of what I was experiencing then.”

“As I wrote the stories I could sell, I was like a squirrel, gathering the nuts of future stories and storing them for the years when my writing would be better and my market larger.”

“As I was writing one story, I was always preparing for others. . . .”

On His Service in World War II (revealing his humor)

“[M]y time overseas was spent in the European Theater of Operations. I did what I was given to do and they gave me four Bronze Stars for doing it reasonably well. . . . There was no time for writing during the war, but one could always think, and one could observe and remember.”

My intention now is to read one (or maybe more?) of L’Amour’s novels. But I face the perennial obstacle to reaching that goal: while I was reading the L’Amour memoir, I obtained five other books that I’m now dying to read!

So many books, so little time!

What are you reading right now? More importantly, what are you learning from it?

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