"Sure, the world is cold. It is our job to build fires."
- Samuel McCord
What would Samuel McCord tell us today?
1.) Time Is Not Limitless
That we have more time than we do is an illusion not just for the young.
When young, we focus on ourselves and our dreams, thinking we have all the time in the world.
As we get older we fall under the spell of denial.
As our friend, Tina, has taught us:
Time is the only treasure we start off with in abundance and can never get back
Make the most of the opportunities you have today because there will be a time when you will have no more of it.
2.) Talent is no substitute for hard work ... or for empathy.
How many doctors have you met that seemed to have left their compassion in their other jacket pocket?
We may have skill at writing, at any number of things but we still have to pay our dues to be a member of the human race.
And those dues include seeing those around us as fellow strugglers in the battles of life.
3.) Social Media is not your career ... or your life.
If you are a writer, write ... and write a lot. The more books in your backlist the more promise your future holds.
You are alive so LIVE. Life is more than pasting cat pictures on FB. Play with your cat, your children.
Take a walk outside.
SEE, EXPERIENCE the world. At the end of your trail, it will be the laughter among friends, among family that you will remember.
Gold ribbons tarnish. Memories of love and friendship nurture.
4.) Take responsibility for your mistakes.
Mistakes are the tuition you pay to grow stronger, better. But if you bury them, you lose what good might have come from them.
5.) Don't wait to be told what to do ... or what to write.
Once you're an adult, no one will tell you what you need to read, to eat, or when to exercise
You may dream of having a beautiful rose garden, but unless you plant, water, prune, and weed,
a dream will be all you have. And dreams do not have lush scents or velvet petals.
6.) If your words cannot improve the silence, remain quiet.
We have raised a generation of sh_t talkers. So often those around us mistake cool for character.
That is true of fiction as well as in real life.
Is your book worth the effort of reading? Are your words healing or helpful?
7.) Read more books and fewer tweets and texts.
Our generation consumes information in headlines and 140 characters: All breadth and no depth.
And that limitation impacts the way we think and how well.
What limits your thinking hobbles your mind in what choices you make ... in living and in writing.
Creativity, thoughtfulness and thinking skills are freed when you’re forced to read a full book cover to cover.
All the keys to your future success lay in the past experience of others ...
which you will find in books.