24 Jan 07

As I knocked the sodden mass of tea leaves out of the strainer this morning, I realized I had unconsciously done so to the rhythm of “Shave and a Haircut.” I must be feeling better.

Meanwhile, Saalon writes: Creative people – writers, painters, musicians – put a lot of work into their early projects. There’s a fire and a passion that goes into them that’s easy to find. You’ve been carrying that passion around your entire life, so it just forces those first stories onto you. Then you get that out, put it on a page, and a danger arises. The danger that the next project you choose will be…well, arbitrary.

True. Beyond that, if an artist writes her first story at age twenty-five, then that story has spent the past ten to fifteen years building in her head. The next story will have a much shorter gestation period. New stories will feel less powerful.

But that’s okay. Real artists (those who actually produce art) know the importance of daily work. The Muse will bless your work, provided you do it.

In The War of Art, Pressfield describes his first novel, and the nearby friend that he’d sit with every day to discuss problems with and generally be encouraged by. When Pressfield finally finished his novel, he walked to his friend’s house and told him. “Good for you,” his friend said, not looking up from his paper. “Start the next one tomorrow.”

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