Yesterday, (Wednesday, April 8th, 2015) I talked to a great post-doc, EB. We got to a discussion about books…and writing.
On Sunday, April 5th, 2015, I decided to write. I decided to write for myself.
What does this mean exactly?
Part of the discussion I had with EB was about how I decided to just write. Not to be scared anymore.
I realized last weekend that I am not getting any younger, and my time is now. Before I know it, I will be over a 100 years old. If times goes this fast like it did last week and flew like lightening this week, then, I have to utilize my time more wisely and efficiently.
I decided that I can revise my thesis and write my novel at the same time.
I want to make every moment I know I can count. I know in my head that I wasn’t living up to my potential. Back in my college days, I was eager to do whatever it took to become a better writer. Somewhere, I lost that drive. That dedication. And the high intensity desire.
It has taken time to get the courage, but I realize what to do. My graduate students inspired me and made me realize that you are never too old to ever have that desire. That drive. That dedication. If they can stick it out for five, six, or even seven years to get a PhD, I know that I can finish my master’s degree and write my novel.
EB resounded the same words that one of my favorite grads, NG, said: “You will be successful in five years…”
Usually, when a different person says something different, it’s my cue to get busy. These words fuel me to do better.
Out of my mouth, along these lines, I told EB, and another one of my favorite graduate students, KM, that greatness is…
When you know that there are people who are greater than you…and keep working hard anyway trying to continuously chase after what is great.
When you know that you are humble—that you don’t know everything….and the more you know, the less you really know.
When you have the desire to keep learning even though you know that is a huge amount to still learn.
Being a great writer is having to continuously to write. To write every day…or to attempt to write every day. I
I look back on the gaps when I didn’t write…and I look at the times when I was continuously writing.
And what I discovered is that writing means everything to me. It is my salvation to old age. It is my salvation to wisdom. It is my salvation in keeping me who I am… It is my salvation to keeping me healthy…
And it is also my mirror that lets me see exactly who I am. It makes me tell the truth about myself. It helps me open up the way of becoming a better version of myself.
I have realized now that it is okay to spill my guts onto the page with pen and paper…or with fingers rapidly touching keys….because writing itself is the process you use to mold. However, sculpting is the technique you use to revise. It is when you polish the work and make judgments that will let the truth shine through.
And that’s where I am right now. I am at the phase that I am spilling my guts everywhere like I did back in college. And now, I am using that method to write my first novel of my trilogy.
I finally realized that what I already practiced a long time ago but let it slipped:
It’s that writing all the time, nonstop, makes me a better writer. Now, as a little wiser person, I realize that it takes all you have to become what you will yourself to be. Positive energy begats positive energy. Dreams do come true when you not only believe but execute as well.
So, I am spilling my guts. Right now, for the revision of my thesis, I am reading Breaking Breading by bell hooks and Cornel West. In the Introduction, hooks talks about testifying in interview dialogue.
And right now, I am testifying in writing like she and West are doing. Oh, it feels so good.
Today, Anne Lamont says it best after talking about turning 61:
“6. Writing: shitty first drafts. Butt in chair. Just do it. You own everything that happened to you. You are going to feel like hell if you never write the stuff that is tugging on the sleeves in your heart–your stories, visions, memories, songs: your truth, your version of things, in your voice. That is really all you have to offer us, and it’s why you were born” (https://www.facebook.com/AnneLamott/posts/662177577245222)