Several books I return to often for powerful phrases on the writing process. One I treasure is The Writing Life by Annie Dillard. A college professor, during my BYU years, introduced us. Today I sludge through gray and rainy emotions, cloud after cloud, until I meet a page of sunshine:
"One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.
After Michelangelo died, someone found in his studio a piece of paper on which he had written a note to this apprentice, in the handwriting of his old age: 'Draw, Antonio, draw, Antonio, draw and do not waste time'".
Daily I'm engaged in conversations about my book and writing. Friends, mentors, strangers, even a fine gentleman I've been on several dates with. It's surreal, exciting and terrifying. I've had this experience before when the outer world starts to reflect the important, ambitious, and adventurous music from within.
I trust the pain now and smile at the emerging creation. I've watched enough of my ideas materialize over the past 5 years it's becoming beautiful.
In desperation I finally found a reason that's opened the flood gates of writing.
I'm no longer writing this book to help others, or change the world, my deadline is terminated, and my daily requirement to write for sixty minutes is non-negotiable.
I'm writing my first book to save myself.