Monday, August 20, 2007

Flinging Yourself

If the artist does not fling himself, without reflecting, into his work, as Curtis flung himself into the yawning gulf, as the soldier flings himself into the enemy's trenches, and if, once in this crater, he does not work like a miner on whom the walls of his gallery have fallen in; if he contemplates difficulties instead of overcoming them one by one...he is simply looking on at the suicide of his own talent. - Honore de Balzac

This is one of my favorite quotes. Why? Because there is no one Right Way to Fling.

Just like there's no one Right Way to Parent or Right Way to Write. And yet, if you are like me, you spend countless hours fretting about how things are going, if you are doing everything just right. If you need to change things. If you should keep pressing on...

Put your pen to paper or your fingers to the keyboard and then write. Don't spend too much time looking back or fiddling with things, just get things written. Then you can go back and edit, refine, cut or revise.

But you can't edit a blank page. No matter how much you try. Get the bones and the fat and the flesh out there on the page and then go back and whip it into shape.

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