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If writing does not mean everything to you

Friday 2/23/24

If writing does not mean everything to you--and if everything is not writing for you--then you will never be truly great at it.

It requires the whole of your life. I don't mean that it's all you do, but it has to be the entirety of who you are, and that "you" must exist in a state of being potentially limitless. Writing must be you and you have to be it. There's no switch, no one and off button. It's a form of life and you are that life.

And this is if you're born with ability to start with. There is no single harder thing to do in the world than to create truly great writing. There are endless factors, variables, possibilities. You have to know everything about everything. Not books or a kind of book--everything. And that's the easy part.

You have to know everything about human nature, how people are, how life is, and the mysteries behind the veil. And that's before we get to the language, to the stories, characters who are more real than even you yourself are, and how to have all of this play out in works of the written word that never make a reader feel like they're reading.

There is no other way. Now, you can write something lucid, something useful, something efficiently stated, but I'm talking about truly great writing on all of these different levels at once.

That's what it takes. Among many other things.

Nothing like a spring wind when everything else seems to be telling you winter isn't over. The way it comes in from the outside, if you let it. Rustles through those blades—down to the last—now that it’s warmed up some before they turn green and stops at your body, lying there, crouching there. Maybe it passes through you, only you can’t make out the sound.


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