"I love your necklace," said Cheryl Strayed, when I met her.
"I love your everything," I said in return. And it's true, everything Cheryl was wearing - from her purple suede platforms to her sparkly ring - was enchanting, and so was her recent talk. Here's a Greatest Hits of her quotes:
"I went on the hike in 1995, and started writing the book in 2008. I told the story when I was ready to."
"When I wrote (about putting on the backpack in the motel), I realized this could be a book."
The book's theme is: "How can we bear the unbearable?"
"When I (took on the Dear Sugar column), I decided to write with the full force of my humanity."
"Be brave enough to break your own heart."
"Give yourself permission to get off the beaten path, stray."
Advice to writers: "It’s going to be difficult and miserable to hike PCT – and it's the same for writers, but then the rewards are bigger. Prepare yourself for struggle."
"I’m a writer because I fell in love w/ books at six or seven. They pierced me with their beauty and I wanted to be one of those beauty piercers."
"Writing is sheer hell every day and also my favorite thing to do."
On what she thinks about her daily writing: "This is so stupid, I’m dumb, I’m an idiot. That’s what it feels like to write. You have to quit resisting yourself; you have to persevere."
It boils down to writing as though your life depends on it, which it does.