“Inspiration is trying to send me messages in every form it can—through dreams, through portents, through clues, through coincidences, through déjà vu, through kismet, through surprising waves of attraction and reaction, through the chills that run up my arms, through the hair that stands up on the back of my neck, through the pleasure of something new and surprising, through stubborn ideas that keep me awake all night long . . . whatever works. Inspiration is always trying to work with me. So I sit there and I work, too. That’s the deal. I trust it; it trusts me.”
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I love to see the page cover up with lines like a bathtub filling with warm water, and I love to sense the slight tension as the pen nib slides over the paper. Writing a letter holds such promise and excitement, and in preparing one I feel as if I am showing the same devotion as when I cook a fine meal for loved ones. I imagine the whole chain of people who touch the letter along its way, the expression on my friend’s face when the letter appears in his box, his curiosity as he deciphers those stamps, his expectancy as he picks up the letter opener and slits the envelope seal, and then, hopefully, his delight at reading what I have to tell him. But above all, I suppose I savor the most the intimacy that letter writing allows between two people, the possibility of standing as far back or as far forward as one wishes to convey a sentiment. I appreciate how you can hide secret thoughts behind words, or how you can step out in the spotlight with them.
-Katharine Branning, Yes, I Would Love Another Glass of Tea
Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action.
Do it or don’t do it.
It may help to think of it this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet.
You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God.
Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.
– Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles