Monday, July 23, 2007

Half a Page of Scribbled Lines

As all the Harry Potter hype circulates, I'm glad for the author, even though I've never read any of her books. She was "on benefits," as they say in England, not very long ago. Now she's a billionaire. That's a nice story.

I read recently that Graham Greene, the 20th Century English author, set himself a minimum writing quota of 350 words per day. For those of us who write for a living, that's nothing and can be accomplished quite quickly. Yesterday's post about blogging was over 700 words; two days worth of writing by Greene's standard. Of course a blog post is no Greene novel, and he may have set such a low goal so as to create quality rather than quantity. But the point is discipline. Greene said, “I have no talent. It's just a question of working, of being willing to put in the time.” (Of course, if you owned a villa on Capri, writing might come a little easier to you, too.) "Silent" Calvin Coolidge made a similar observation: "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Eduction alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."

I mention this because I'm going to try it, but maybe I'll up the quota to 500 words. I mention this also because I know bloggers, writers, people in advertising, and pretty much everyone are unfulfilled artists looking for a purer outlet for their creativity. Will we become billionaries? That would be nice, but it's not the point.

I may try something in the adventure/comedy/time travel genre. (Picture Bill Murray and Chris Rock if they played the leads in Twelve Monkeys.) Don't know yet.

I always encourage creatives to keep something on the side that no one else has a say in. Paint, draw, write, compose, or perform. Keep your skills sharpened. I think that's why so many of us blog now.

(Word Count: 350)

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2 Comments:

  • That was great, thanks.
    Don't see a trackback option, so here's my hat-tip:
    "On writing, Where's my Jetpack? (a great title!) has a post about just what "you, me, them, everybody, everybody"- might be trying to do by typing these light, bloggy words. They quote Greene: “I have no talent. It's just a question of working, of being willing to put in the time," which I think will go on my wall. The post ends with this observation. And I'm thankful for it, because it got me to write, tonight..."

    By Anonymous Billy Morocco, at July 23, 2007 at 10:39 PM  

  • I always encourage creatives to keep something on the side that no one else has a say in.

    You give awesome advice.

    By Blogger Thinking In Vain, at July 24, 2007 at 10:08 AM  

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