If you can write each day, do it, and meet a quota. Minimum 350 words a day. A baboon can do 350 words a day. Don’t be shown up by a baboon.
Though this be madness, yet there is method in ’t.
If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.
— Stephen King
In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.
— Mark Twain
“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone”
— Pablo Picasso
This is my kick in the butt quote for the week. I want to write. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write and right now, I am pretty pissed at myself that I haven’t written much yet.
I have never wanted to die famous. When I was younger, friends even got speeches about how I just wanted to be cremated and forgotten. That is still mostly true, though I understand better the need for the living to remember the dead for themselves, not for the dead. But if I still died tomorrow, I would not be happy in whatever after-life form I take.
I want to be forgotten, but that doesn’t mean I can’t contribute to the world first. There are thoughts, in my head, and in everyone else’s, and I think the world will be richer for those thoughts. That doesn’t mean that I need my name attached to them, that I need to be remembered for having shared them, just that they are out in the world making others think. Helping others cope with life and people and boredom and loneliness and whatever else they use my thoughts and stories to cope with.
We all have songs and stories, movies and random thoughts we heard someplace 20 years ago. We don’t always know who wrote it, who starred in the leading role or who said that little snippet of wisdom, but somehow they stuck with us and have become ingrained in who we are. I want my stories to add to the collection of things in this world that can make a difference, even if its just to make someone smile or make them stop and question the world around them in a profound way.
I need to stop procrastinating if I am going to do that. I may not die tomorrow, but every moment is fleeting. Every second I don’t write, another story is lost. A million ideas a minute running through 6 billion heads in the world right now. Humanity needs more people writing them down.
“What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat,’…. And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.”
— Maya Angelou
How very accurate. I have seen this myself as well as heard it in almost every piece of writing advice out there. It’s really about the dedication to writing in general. Who cares if you’re writing well, you’ll fix it in editing. But if you sit down and write every day you will produce something spectacular after a while. Some writers even insist that if you write at the same time every day, you will program your muse to come then. You trick the brain into realizing that this is now writing time and you better come up with some inspiration.
In the end, I love the idea of convincing you’re muse that you’re serious. All too often I have a hard time convincing me that I am serious and working towards convincing someone else is easier for me to do. As long as I keep trying to write, some inspiration will come eventually.
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
“Reading messed with my brain in an unaccountable way. It made me happy; or something.”
— Salvatore Scibona
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be. ~Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
And we’re back to Tuesday. Quote day. Had a quote all week in my head, then saw this one and decided it was better to write about.
A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word to paper. ~E.B. White
Today’s quote, for I have decided that Tuesdays will be quote day, is very fitting for this blog and my writing. Which isn’t a good thing.