Friday Morning FYI – 5/6/2016

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

Last week, I wrote about a barista who asked if I was a writer. After that brief conversation, I returned to my coffee and WIP. About an hour and several hundred new words later, I heard the following, in that same barista’s voice, from the direction of the espresso machine:

I hadn’t played live in a while, but it’s like coming home after a long vacation. Everything looks a little different even though it’s not, and it takes you a little while to get back into everything. Once you do, it’s like you never left.”

You’re d@mn right I wrote that down, and yes, I plan to use it. That’s this week’s FYI:

Writers should always have their ears open to the profound/insightful/asinine things said around them. Why? Because there are voices other than our own, spoken from experiences beyond ours, by people more complex than any we might invent. To not take from those voices (including other writers) would be like ignoring an unclaimed pile of gold because you were on your way to pan for your own.

Aaron Sorkin summarizes it for us:

Good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal from them outright. - Aaron Sorkin

Um… or was it TS Eliot?

Mediocre writers borrow; great writers steal. - T. S. Eliot

Oh balls. Did Eliot steal that quote from Oscar Wilde?

Talent borrows, genius steals! - Oscar Wilde

See what I did there?

I’m not talking about full-on plagiarism, of course. Word for word, sentence for sentence, paragraph for paragraph copy -> paste is wrong on every level. But when you hear something that clicks, you’d be a fool to not jot it down.

And yes, I fully expect someone to steal those words, just as I stole them. Good on those who do 🙂


 Thanks for reading,


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