Good Advice

I love interesting quotes. I tend to collect the ones that make me laugh or think or feel inspired. I sent one such quote to a friend and recently she sent it back to me (thank you, Mary). Here it is:

Go ahead and make something. Make something really special. Make something amazing that will really blow the mind of anybody who sees it.

If you try to make something just to fit your uninformed view of some hypothetical market, you will fail. If you make something special and powerful and honest and true, you will succeed . . . because your soul somehow depends on it. There’s something you haven’t said, something you haven’t done, some light that needs to be switched on, and it needs to be taken care of. Now.

Hugh Macleod

And that made me remember something I read a while back on Neil Gaiman’s blog, in a post dated May 9, 2007:

As for deadlines…

Like a hanging, I find they concentrate the mind wonderfully.

The best suggestion I can make is to stop doing other things. Turn off the computer, or take a laptop somewhere they don’t have wireless. Don’t play solitaire or bring a mobile phone. Then write.

It’s amazing how much time you can spend not writing, without even trying. Make a rule that you can either write, or not do anything at all. (No TV. No long baths. No reading New Scientist. Staring out of the window is okay.) Pretty soon, you start to write, because it’s more interesting than staring vacantly out of the window. (I think I got it from a Daniel Pinkwater essay in Fish Whistle, and it’s a wonderful concept.)

It occurs to me that the hardest advice to follow is advice directed specifically at us. Too often it sounds patronizing or judgmental or simply misguided. It is sometimes easier to appropriate advice given to others and take its lessons as our own, in our own time, of our own volition.

Right now, these particular words strike a chord that resonates deep within me. I plan to take heed. Just thought I’d share.


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2 responses to “Good Advice

  1. Mary

    It’s funny that the best advice is usually something we already knew but had forgotten.


  2. Theresa

    Go, BCB!! I meant to say that on your last post, but forgot. Can’t wait to read your political thriller someday!

    Does this mean that you’re going dark again? If so, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. I remember those dark months when I forced myself to stay away from the grill….