Thoughts for Friday – 24th January 2014

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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.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Thoughts for Friday – 24th January 2014

  1. Very motivational – I like this. It is important to get something written every single day so that the habit is established. The constant challenge, especially for those who have full-time jobs and family life, is finding that happy balance between those obligations and the writing. You’ve mentioned before that it isn’t the word count as much as it is sitting down in spare moments and trying to get something on the page – in other words, making the most of those moments that you have. That has really stayed with me. Thanks for another terrific and thoughtful quote, and for expounding on it so capably.

    • Hi Kate,

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting on this post. After I wrote it I rather feared that I had gone off on a bit of a rant about it. I guess it is just because I am passionate about my journey as a writer and the January challenge has really helped me to see how much of my time was being bled away by things that were not productive or beneficial to my cause.

      Only a lucky few folk have the luxury of being a full-time writer and so for those of us who have limited time we have to squeeze in some writing as and when we can. Sometimes it is not about how much we write but the fact that we are sitting down and writing at all when everything else in our life seems to be conspiring against us. Finding the time and really applying ourselves to the craft of writing is the most important aspect, I feel.

      Heather xxx

  2. A great thought. And very true.

  3. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my post, it is much appreciated.

    Heather xxx

  4. Excellent quote and great blog! As an aspiring writer currently working on my first novel, this hits right at home with me. Good luck to you!

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