Fragile Ideas Needs Loving Every Day, Walter Mosley (NY Times re-post)

November 4, 2015


"Reality fights against your dreams, it tries to deny creation and change. The world wants you to be someone known, someone with solid ideas, not blowing smoke. Given a day, reality will begin to scatter your notions; given two days, it will drive them off.


The act of writing is a kind of guerrilla warfare; there is no vacation, no leave, no relief."



I just reread this wonderful Walter Mosley essay on why writers must write every day. His advice is clear and wise; imbued with a great love for the craft. (See link below.)


When I was single, Sunday afternoons were quiet (and often painful). I didn't want to be alone with families enjoying the park or couples at movies. So, I'd open the windows and let in the breeze. The cat would move to a patch of sun near the front door. Maybe a little jazz played quietly in the background. I'd pull the work-in-progress up on the screen and reread what I'd written the previous Sunday. It took a while before the characters would allow me back in; often they hid around corners, voices mute.  By the time I'd found my stride, the stars were shining and my stomach was complaining over a missed dinner.


In this way, the work limped three steps forward, two steps back but often, help! it vanished. At which point, the piece was abandoned for a shiny, new project. (I have seven unfinished novels hidden in a documents folder somewhere on my laptop.)


When I finally made a determination to write every day, and set a specific writing time, like a job, that could not be interrupted by texts, phone calls (even from a wonderful boyfriend), or a season premiere of my favorite TV show, characters slowly emerged from the fog. I heard their voices. Often, they danced. Stories took form. Novels were written.


Now, I write a little every day. (Except Sunday afternoon, because I go to the park or the movies with my wonderful boyfriend.)


There is no greater way to respect the work and the craft (and ourselves), then to write a little every day.


I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did.   Fragile Ideas Need Loving Every Day, by Walter Mosley, NY Times July 3, 2000.


Happy Writing!





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