“Principles are good and worth the effort
only when they develop into deeds."
“The great doesn’t happen through impulse alone,
but is a succession of little things
that are brought together.”
Teachers have long thought
that there is in this present culture an ethical weaknesses and intellectual poverty
that keep even the most gifted young people from ascending to greatness.
But I remind myself of the words of Virginia Wolfe in Orlando:
“It is probable that the human spirit has its place in the time assigned to it.”
1) The QUAGMIRE of CONTEMPLATION
Contemplators love the study of nature but only for its aesthetic qualities :
the sublime spectacles, the beautiful forms, the splendid colors, and the graceful structures.
To linger over-long in the realm of faerie
is to miss out as the world -- and your opportunities -- move on without you.
2.) When LABEL becomes the GOAL not the CONSEQUENCE of ACTION
One did not become a knight merely by parading about in a suit of armor.
No, knighthood was found in deeds --
as the term author is reserved for those who complete the books in their heads.
"He who knows and acts is the one who counts,
not he who knows and falls asleep.
We render a tribute of respect to those who add original work to a library,
and withhold it from those who carry a library around in their head."
- Santiago Ramón y Cajal
3.) Eat a STEAK by swallowing
the WHOLE COW
We all have heard the term "Baby Steps."
Why did so many great writers start out by writing short stories?
They grew by doing, of course.
But also each successful sale reinforced their desire
to write more stories that blossomed into writing novels.
This principle pertains to most things in life:
Tackle small problems first, so that if success smiles and strength increases,
one may then undertake the great feats
4.) The MAP is NOT the JOURNEY
The journey does not take itself.
Don't plan -- WRITE
Plotting your novel in detail may feel like writing, but it is not.
Writing one sentence, one chapter after another -- THAT is writing.
Plan too much and you increase the odds of your novel being dead on arrival.
Even if it is finished,
the spark and spontaneity will have vanished like that iridescent rainbow that shimmered so beautifully in the storm clouds.
Writing is not building a house. It is an art.
Do you think Van Gogh or Picasso outlined their paintings?
The best stories we read, the ones we aspire to write,
are the ones that leave us in a more mysterious world than we knew at the start,
stories that illuminate questions rather than answers.
5.) Our MUSCLES grow
BY USING them
The same is true of any skill:
We LEARN by DOING
"The water does not flow
until the faucet is turned on."
- Louis L'Amour
The best writing happens when the writer is discovering what happens as he or she is creating.
I am not the Yardstick of the Universe so these are merely my suggestions for you to reflect upon.
I hope I have at least amused you.