Where are you? It is dark here as I type this.
There is blackness and the only light is the soft glowing one from my laptop.
The power went off and as soon as it did, a wave of exhaustion washed over me.
I promise you, I am tired.
I am waiting for someone to put the lights on but I don’t want to stop writing. I am hoping you have lights in your area.
I just read a quote by Margaret Artwood and I thought I should share with you.
By the way, Margaret Artwood is a Canadian Poet and novelist, she has won numerous awards for her writing- she is someone we must listen to.
When I read what she wrote, I must confess it did not sound very uplifting. It was direct and truthful- the kind to get you really sober.
In her words “Writing is work…you don’t get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but essentially you are on your own. Nobody is making you do this; you chose it, so don’t whine”
When I read it, I felt she was talking directly to me. Well (rolling my eyes) she was. It was generally to every writer. So everybody, come and pick your sub.
What do you think? It is certainly not the kind of advice you would hear then make excited jumps and enthusiastic screams.
The truth in it is somewhat sad. Imagine saying that I am on my own? Haba fa!
No one can deny the hard work writing is. I mean the first blog I ever wrote for was called “Words Are Work”
The words of Rene Karl Rilke, a popular poet who walked this earth many years comes to mind.
In a collection of missives, titled “Letters to a young poet” an invaluable packet of wisdom on writing and creativity, he posed an echoing question “this above all- ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: must I write?”
Permit me then to put this question to you “must you write?’
If your answer is yes, then it is good that you get acquainted with the grind that comes with it.
Rilke even says it at the end “if you meet this solemn question with a strong simple “I must”, then build your life in accordance with this necessity”
So bottom line, do what you have to do as a writer, don’t complain.
Though this truth is sobering, it does not seek to get you discouraged, it is only a reminder of the dreary days that may lie ahead and that there is indeed no worthy cause that does not require much effort.
Margret, Rilke, Teju Cole and other successful writers happen to stick to this message-you must be prepared for the work.
Enough of Rilke and Artwood (I don’t mean this) let us go back to you. How many words did you write today?
Did I hear someone complain?
For me, I am not very certain but I know I have written more than 200 words typing this.
Keeping a daily quota with your writing is one of the basic ways you can get better at this art.
Mine is an honest 500 words daily. You can make yours a thousand words or less, the important key is consistency not intensity (you feel that?) Always remember this.
It’s true that you will encounter very busy days but don’t stop.
So the lights are back on and I feel certain energy to go on and on but because I have written up to 500 words, I will take a reluctant bow (who am I kidding? I want to sleep)