Saturday, March 15, 2008

More on Writing

"A man is a fool not to put everything he has, at any given moment, into what he is creating. You're there now doing the thing on paper. You're not killing the goose, you're just producing an egg. So I don't worry about inspiration, or anything like that. It's a matter of just sitting down and working. I have never had the problem of a writing block. I've heard about it. I've felt reluctant to write on some days, for whole weeks, or sometimes even longer. I'd much rather go fishing, for example, or go sharpen pencils, or go swimming, or what not. But, later, coming back and reading what I have produced, I am unable to detect the difference between what came easily and when I had to sit down and say, "Well, now it's writing time and now I'll write." There's no difference on paper between the two. "
— Frank Herbert

Herbert's words have the ring of truth in them. If I wait until I feel inspired to sew, sketch, exercise, play the piano, or write, there are long stretches in between times when those things are neglected. Then I am frustrated at my lack of skill when the "big idea" comes to me because I am unable to execute it well. Self-discipline requires consistency, which in turn develops the skill to bring an inspired idea out of the head into the realm of the tangible. Little disciplines matter.

No comments: