Saturday, September 24, 2016

Don't Be a Fred

If you want to be something, you pursue it.  

If you love something, you pursue without restraint.   My son is a runner, he must run. From watching him, I know, if you want to be any good at it, you have to run almost every single day.  You have to shape how you eat, schedule your day, and do it even when your brain and your body does not love it.

The same is true for writing. I write every day.  I don't post every day because some of it stinks, but I write every day.  

 For any discipline one professes to love.  If you only do something when the muse tickles your fancy, you are an enthusiast, you are a Fred.  In Big Hero Six, the guy explains, "I'm not a student but I am a major science enthusiast."  He doesn't experiment or study, he dreams.  He imagines what he hopes science can do, what the others around him who are science majors should do, but does not pursue it himself

 I don't want to be a Fred.     

Enthusiasts live for the high of inspiration, and when it isn't there, don't sit down and force out the 500 words. Writers bleed, sweat and beg out the words.   Just like runners go when it aches, when it's raining, when it's cold, when they don't want to, just like parents climb the stairs, wash the dishes and do the errands, when they'd rather not.  Love in all arenas of life, is not a mere emotion, but an act of the will.

When we start making excuses not to act, it is because we don't want to will ourselves to do what we profess to love.  When we start making excuses not to act in order to not will ourselves to act, do we still love what we once did? Yes, however, because we've not willed ourselves to do it, we've weakened our will to do it.  Anyone who ever started working out and opted to skip a day at the gym knows how much harder it is to go the next day.   Any weakening of the will to do something in order to get better, makes it harder to get better.

It is true in running, true in parenting, in writing, true in all areas of life. I wish I could summon all the ideas that practically threw themselves at me when I drove to work on Thursday and Friday, but they've evaporated. It made me wonder, was it merely time that made writing possible, or was I making time for writing. When I started working this week, teaching writing, I wondered, would I still have time to write?  the answer is, yes, but only if I willed it.   Today, I'm willing it.

Day 1.


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