I was reading this in a book given to me by my writing professor years ago, and the quote reminded me of him:
“Writers have almost always witnessed about their reliance on models. Writers read each other, and imitate, and blend, and react to traditions in literature. Teachers — and the most imposing and successful of teachers — trace with their students the residues of earlier writers in the acheivements of later ones. The subtlety and reach and eloquence in these weavings and recognitions must impress those of us who learn in the tradition. We have all experienced the search and discovery, the classifying and evaluating in terms of influences.”
William Stafford, Writing the Australian Crawl
Many of my favorite writers have been introduced to me by my writing professor: Annie Dillard, Joan Didion, and Eudora Welty to name a few. And the list of writers that we didn’t read in class is much longer. I am still to this day reading through his list of recommendations (hence Writing the Australian Crawl). I’m still surprised how many I find that I love, even though I shouldn’t be surprised anymore. In so many ways these writers have influenced my own writing, but not without the initiation of my writing professor. It is he who not only influenced my writing, but also my life as writing and life should go hand in hand. For writers influence not only your craft, but in turn, your life. It is words change lives; no matter if you read or write them.