Writer’s Quote Wednesday – John Roderick

Hello everyone! Welcome to Writer’s Quote Wednesday, a weekly event hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading. Every week bloggers pool their favorite inspirational quotes from writers to motivate each other to keep on pushing the words out on to the page. My contribution this week is from John Roderick.

John Roderick, born September 13, 1968, in Seattle, Washington, is a musician, writer, podcaster, and politician. He grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, where as a young man he worked as a sluice box mucker for a gold mining operation in the area.

Currently he is the lead singer and guitarist in the band The Long Winters. He’s worked with many other bands including Death Cab for Cutie, the Nada Surf, The Decemberists, and many more. Roderick is also a founding member of the Seattle Music Commission.

His first book of extremely short prose, Electric Aphorisms was published in November 2009 and he co-hosts the podcast Roderick on the Line, with Merlin Mann

In April 2015, Roderick announced that he is running for Seattle City Council.

“I’ve considered so many people’s ideas, and taken them to bed with me, and rolled around with them and said, ‘Are you my idea now? Do I like you that much?’ And, then in the morning, set a saucer full of milk for it out on the porch and said, ‘Well, if you’re here in the afternoon, maybe you can keep living with me.”

– John Roderick

I think every artist is filled with other people’s ideas. Either ideas that people have for us, the ones that we get from people who aren’t writers telling us what we should write, or the kind we get from watching and emulating what other writers do. I store these ideas away and think on them and turn them over in my head. I try to figure out if I really like them and, more importantly, if they like me too.

These ideas always start out promising me the world. They tell me there is no one else like me and that we can be happy together forever. The ideas tell me that they feel differently with me than they have with anyone else and they only want to be with me. Sometimes they tell the truth, and most of the time they lie. They catch the eyes of other writers and run off with them the same way they did with me.

I realized I’m not so special and that ideas rarely belong to one person for very long. They are slippery, flighty things. They are fickle. But I have learned that while they are with me I ought to roll around with them and make the best of the time we have together. I know in no time I will see the same idea that said she loved me so walking down the street with another writer. Arm and arm as if I never existed.

Then again, I am usually walking with a new idea too, as if the last had never happened. I am hoping one day one of them will stay and maybe I will have an idea all my own.

Original image via simpleinsomnia


10 Replies to “Writer’s Quote Wednesday – John Roderick”

    1. Please do! I love doing these posts every week. I learn so much about other writers and authors and I learn about the craft. Plus it really helps keep me motivated.

      Oh and Colleen, the host, is a pretty awesome blogger too :)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh ideas – those slippery, flighty things – beautiful. I really appreciate this quote. As a former academic, I was always caught up in properly citing the ideas of others – that seemed to be what most of writing was about. How liberating fiction felt after all of that. But soon enough, I realized that there isn’t much I can come up with that hasn’t been done before. What I can do is let those ideas sink into me with the confidence that when I write them, my stories will be unique.


    1. Exactly. Not much can be made that is original anymore. We are the products of all the writing we have read and the art we have seen. But as creatives we can combine those ideas, or pull them apart, and transmogrify them into something that is our own. AND THATS OK :)

      Thanks for reading :)


  2. Lisa, I love your quote. Your analogy about ideas is spot on. There is always room for originality. How many times do you say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Some of those ideas are right there waiting for us to unearth them. Your writing is so cohesive and thought provoking! I love it! <3


  3. LOL! I love this “I know in no time I will see the same idea that said she loved me so walking down the street with another writer. Arm and arm as if I never existed.” and your choice of quote!


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