Sam Shepard

Literary Birthday – 5 November – Sam Shepard

Sam Shepard was born 5 November 1943 and died 27 July 2017.

Sam Shepard’s Quotes On Writing

  1. The great thing for me, now, is that writing has become more and more interesting. Not just as a craft but as a way into things that are not described.
  2. I think without writing I would feel completely useless.
  3. You start out as an artist, I started out when I was nineteen, and you’re full of defences. You have all of this stuff to prove. You have all of these shields in front of you. All your weapons are out. It’s like you’re going into battle. You can accomplish a certain amount that way. But then you get to a point where you say, ‘But there’s this whole other territory I’m leaving out.’ And that territory becomes more important as you grow older. You begin to see that you leave out so much when you go to battle with the shield and all the rest of it. You have to start including that other side or die a horrible death as an artist with your shield stuck on the front of your face forever. You can’t grow that way. And I don’t think you can grow as a person that way, either. There just comes a point when you have to relinquish some of that and risk becoming more open to the vulnerable side, which I think is the female side. It’s much more courageous than the male side.
  4. I’ve heard writers talk about ‘discovering a voice’, but for me that wasn’t a problem. There were so many voices that I didn’t know where to start.
  5. My first job was with the Burns Detective Agency. They sent me over to the East River to guard coal barges during these god-awful hours like three to six in the morning. It wasn’t a very difficult job — all I had to do was make a round every fifteen minutes — but it turned out to be a great environment for writing. I was completely alone in a little outhouse with an electric heater and a little desk.
  6. When you hit a wall – of your own imagined limitations – just kick it in.
  7. I’m a writer. The more I act, the more resistance I have to it. If you accept work in a movie, you accept to be entrapped for a certain part of time, but you know you’re getting out. I’m also earning enough to keep my horses, buying some time to write.

Sam Shepard was an author, a playwright, an actor, and a television and film director. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Buried Child. Shepard was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in The Right Stuff. Shepard received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award as a master American dramatist in 2009.

Source for Image

Tyler J. Clements, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 5th November 2012

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