Sunday, January 6, 2019

Love Is Kind

I don't believe in writer's block.  Writing is the most natural thing in the world.  People block themselves by writing for the wrong reasons - for money or fame or some other bullshit.  If you write for those reasons, you will get blocked - because writing is hard, and those reasons for doing it are bullshit, and you will eventually give up.  That's not being blocked - that's doing it for the wrong reasons.

The real reward in writing is intrinsic.  The act of putting words down and sharing them with people is, in itself, the reward.  Once you get that, you're on your way.  I write because I have to write.  I write because I can't stop.  I write because it's the only thing for me to do.  I write like I breathe.

But that doesn't mean I don't face the same fears everyone else faces when writing.  Of course I do.  "What if I don't have anything to say?  What if I write ten pages and they're all bullshit?"  I grapple with these questions at the beginning of each session - but I have a secret weapon.  It's a trick I learned from Hemingway.  He said to start with one true sentence.  So that's what I do, every single writing session.  I start with one true sentence.  It could be something simple, like "my sweatshirt is black."  Or it could be something profound, like "The more honest and aware you become, the more kind you become" - which was my actual first sentence from my journal today (they aren't always that good, I got lucky today).

Great writing is just telling the truth, so starting with one true sentence is as good a place to start as any.  Telling the truth doesn't mean you have to be right all the time, or that you even aspire to be right all the time.  It just means telling the truth, no matter what - whether you were right or wrong.  The good news is I have found the truth to be entertaining and quite funny.  The Universe, God, or whatever you want to call it, has a sense of humor.

You can't change the world with one stroke of a pen, but you can change it with a few million strokes of a pen, so do them one at a time and enjoy each of them and don't worry about whether you'll ever be rich or famous.  That's not the point.  Love the process.

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