This week’s quote comes from Natalie Goldberg, an author who is perhaps most well known for her book: Writing Down the Bones. Although first published in 1986, it is still considered an influential book on the craft of writing. Goldberg has studied Zen Buddhism for over thirty years and uses these teachings to explore the world of writing and how it can benefit us on our own spiritual journey.
The reason I have chosen this particular quote is because of how simple the sentiment behind it is. There are no rousing words of encouragement, just a rather blunt explanation of why a writer should write. If it is in you, then you must write whenever you feel the need to. It doesn’t have to be every day, but it should be something that is done regularly if one ever hopes to achieve the holy grail of writing and one day find their name printed on the front cover of a book.
Goldberg tells us that we are the masters of our own destiny and that it is us alone who holds the key to our success. Should we choose to put off writing until another day, we have no one to blame but ourselves for our lack of progress. Waiting for the right time is not going to help your cause either. Time waits for no man and creativity even less so, if you do not make the most of the time you have then you are on a hiding to nothing and automatically setting yourself up to fail.
Although it may seem otherwise, time is not an endless commodity. Every day that you waste not doing the things you should is another day you can chalk up to regret. Every day spent on this Earth is another day closer to the end of your life. Unless scientific progress changes gears dramatically, you will not live forever. Time is both short and precious and the time you set aside for writing should be treated as such.
No one is going to write your best-selling novel for you. You need to pull your finger out and start right now. Make the time to do the things that you want, make the most of each and every day you have. Be proud of your achievements, however small they may seem at the time. For every day that you set aside time to write you are taking one step further to achieving your ultimate goal. If you want it then you must take it, no one is going to hand it to you on a plate.
It’s your life – live it the way you want to.