Here’s prompt 2 for the #reverb10 challenge:
Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
This one is from Leo Babauta of ZenHabits fame. My first reaction to this is – nothing. Everything I do and experience of the other people doing contributes to the whole of my reality, and that is fuel for any writing I do.
If I take a moment though and reflect on what Leo probably meant, I would say my biggest obstacle to writing is lack of a regular habit of writing. That I can eliminate by consciously cultivating an opposite habit, namely regular, scheduled, adhered to bouts of writing.
I am reminded (once again) of the sublime wisdom of Robert Anton Wilson, namely:
Wilson’s 23rd Law is:
Do it every day
This is the most profound of all the Secrets of the Illuminati and I have often been warned that Terrible Consequences will ensue if I reveal it prematurely, but-what the hell, these are parlous times, friend, and this primitive planet needs all the Light that can be unleashed on its dark, superstitious mind. Let me repeat, since I am sure you didn’t get it the first time:
Do it every day!
Have you ever wondered why Einstein became such a great physicist? It was because he loved the equations and concepts of mathematical physics so much that he “worked” on them-or played and tinkered with them-every day. That’s why Otto von Klemper became such a great conductor: he loved Beethoven and Mozart and that crowd so much that he practised his music every day. It’s why Babe Ruth became such a great ball-player: he loved the game so
deeply that he was playing or rehearsing every day.
This rule also explains, incidentally, how people destroy themselves.
Do you want to become a suicide (it’s the fashionable thing in some circles, after all)? Practise being depressed, worried and resentful every day, and don’t let anybody distract you with Energized Meditation or any other mind-change system. Do you want to land in jail on an assault and battery charge? Practise getting damned bloody angry every day. If you want to become paranoid, look carefully every day for evidence of treachery and duplicity around you. If your ambition is to die young, do the depression-worryresentment system every day but center in especially on visualizing and worrying about every imaginable illness that might possibly
inflict itself upon you.
(On the other hand, if you want to live as long as George Burns, “work hard” every day at being as cheerful and optimistic as he is.)
Almost anything is possible if you
DO IT EVERY DAY
Of course, this rule does not guarantee 100 percent results. Playing Chopin on the piano every day for 4 or 5 decades does not mean you will become as good as Van Cliburn; it merely means that you eventually will be a better piano player than anybody in your home state. Worrying every day does not absolutely guarantee a clinical depression or an early death, but after only a few years it does ensure you will be one of the three or four most miserable people in your neighborhood. Writing a sonnet every day for twenty years may not necessarily make you Shakespeare or Mrs. Browning, but it will make you the best poet for an area of about forty to fifty miles, probably. Doing Energized Meditation or similar exercizes does not mean you will be a Perfectly Enlightened Being or a Guru in a few years, just that you will be a great deal happier and a hell of a lot more perceptive, creative and “intuitive” than most people you’ll meet in an average city.
There is a story that Bobbie Fisher, the chess champion, was once in a room with other chess masters when the conversation turned to the latest nuclear accident and the effects of the resultant fall-out. Fisher listened impatiently for a few minutes and then exclaimed irritably, “What the hell does that have to do with chess?” While I am not urging that you imitate that degree of monomania or obsession, there is a significant lesson in this tale. The reason Fisher became a champion is that he cared so much about chess that he did not even have to nag himself or remind himself to do it every bloody day.