"The difference between a Not Writer and a Writer is the difference between someone who *could* write and someone who *does*. A Not Writer is someone who experiences blocks and obstacles and timing issues and lets them prevent him or her from actually writing. A Not Writer may certainly be creative, insightful and capable of writing lyrical prose, but most of the time they’re too busy Not Writing to get any Writing done. That’s such a shame, such a waste, and that’s the reason I so often deploy Tough Love upon those who ask for advice."
Alex Vance considers the problem of the Not-Writer, a fine addition to our ongoing archive on writing.
The daily routines of famous writers should leave little doubt that the single most important skill in writing is the art of showing up.
"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.”"
In an era when things are going better than ever, we all assume it’s about to fall apart. … And I think it’s bullshit. I think you could have made a much better case for impending Armageddon 100 years ago (1913 — the brink of World War I!) or 100 years before that (1813 — the entire world at war, thanks to the man many believed to be the Antichrist, Napoleon!). Shit, go all the way back to 1363 and you find the Black Death, a plague that killed 75 million fucking people. A dude walking around back then with a sandwich board proclaiming the end times would have been impossible to argue with. Yet, 650 years later, here we still are, bitch.
So, with all due respect, fuck the apocalypse. Let’s try to fix the world instead.
— David Wong (via cracked)