so you want to be a writer

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.

unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.

if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.

if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.

if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.

if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.

if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.

if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.

unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.

unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

-Bukowski

Work Alone: Ernest Hemingway’s 1954 Nobel Acceptance Speech

“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.”

“Having no facility for speech-making and no command of oratory nor any domination of rhetoric, I wish to thank the administrators of the generosity of Alfred Nobel for this Prize.

No writer who knows the great writers who did not receive the Prize can accept it other than with humility. There is no need to list these writers. Everyone here may make his own list according to his knowledge and his conscience.

It would be impossible for me to ask the Ambassador of my country to read a speech in which a writer said all of the things which are in his heart. Things may not be immediately discernible in what a man writes, and in this sometimes he is fortunate; but eventually they are quite clear and by these and the degree of alchemy that he possesses he will endure or be forgotten.

Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.

For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.

How simple the writing of literature would be if it were only necessary to write in another way what has been well written. It is because we have had such great writers in the past that a writer is driven far out past where he can go, out to where no one can help him.

I have spoken too long for a writer. A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it. Again I thank you.”

As I Began To Love Myself- Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

2016 Reading Challenge

The 2016 Reading Challenge that I’m participating in.  Who wants to do it with me?

-A book published this year

-A book you can finish in a day

-A book you’ve been meaning to read

-a book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller

-A book you should have read in school

-A book chosen for you by your spouse, partner, sibling, child, or BFF

-A book published before you were born

-A book that was banned at some point

-A book you own but have never read

-A book that intimates you

-A book you’ve already read at least once

Once I finish a category I’ll fill in which book I read!

Date A Girl Who Reads- Rosemarie Urquico

“You should date a girl who reads.

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street.  If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already.  Lost in a world of the author’s making.  Sit down.  She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do.  Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does. She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her.  If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie.  Behind words are other things: motivations, value, nuance, dialogue.  It will not be the end of the world.  Fail her.  Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax.  Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel.  That you can begin again and again and still be the hero.  That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”

 

 

August Book- Brave New World / Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley

"The greater a man's talents, the greater his power to lead astray."

“The greater a man’s talents, the greater his power to lead astray.”

Summary:
Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his
distress…

Huxley’s ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece

My Take, Why it’s worth a read:

I enjoyed this book so much because I found it amazing how accurate it was becoming which lead me to deep thought and conversations with others.  Originally written in 1931, Huxley does a eerily good job of predicting how our ‘infinite appetite for distractions’ would be our undoing.  I see it on a daily basis.  Our reliance on technology, love for reality TV, dislike of intellectual or challenging conversation. Belief that life is supposed to be easy instead of challenging.  We’re quickly moving to a society that would prefer the illusion of happiness as a group vs the freedom to be an individual with things such as pure truth and beauty.

Brave New World has been overshadowed by Orwell’s 1984 for most of the past few decades.  As a society we are constantly worried about the government or “Big Brother” controlling our lives through suppression.  Through externally imposed oppression.   But what Huxley does such a terrifyingly great  job of showing in this book is that we may not need Big Brother to deprive people of our autonomy, maturity, or history.  He believed that we would come to love our oppression without realizing it.  We would adore our technologies and undo our capacities to think.

In 1984, Huxley, added people are controlled by inflicting pain.  In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure.  In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us.  Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.

Give it a read and see if you think Huxley was as on point as I do…

Favorite Quote:
Brave New World:
“But I don’t want comfort.  I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness.  I want sin.”
“In fact,” said Mustapha Mond, “you’re claiming the right to be unhappy.”
“All right then,” said the Savage defiantly, “I’m claiming the right to be unhappy.”

Brave New World Revisited:
“The wish to impose order upon confusion, to bring harmony out of dissonance and unity out of multiplicity is a kind of intellectual instinct, a primary fundamental urge of the mind.”

About the Author:
Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. He spent the latter part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death in 1963. Best known for his novels and wide-ranging output of essays, he also published short stories, poetry, travel writing, and film stories and scripts. Through his novels and essays Huxley functioned as an examiner and sometimes critic of social mores, norms and ideals. Huxley was a humanist but was also interested towards the end of his life in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism. By the end of his life, Huxley was widely acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of his time.

Never give all the Heart by William Butler Yeats

Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that’s lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.

The Power Of Keeping A Notebook: 5 Reasons To Keep A Journal

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Originally published on Elite Daily and written by Michael Jaccarino

What if I told you that by investing as little as a few dollars and committing to a fairly small lifestyle hack, you could increase your productivity and creativity and form better habits? Would you jump on the opportunity?

Who wouldn’t?

I’m talking about the power of keeping a notebook and taking notes.

Regardless of whether you’re a college senior, grad student, entry-level consultant, mid-level professional or the CEO of a company, you should consider keeping a notebook and taking effective notes.

How often do you see or read something that inspires you? How many times do you get a great new business idea or a new insight in regard to your life?

It happens a lot more than you might think, but we quickly forget because we never take the time to actually write these things down.

Kick more ass and increase your productivity now by starting a notebook.Keeping a notebook helps you accomplish several things:

1. Ideas are turned into action

Did you ever came across a product you recognized immediately and thought, “Hey, I came up with that idea!”

Well, I did (multiple times).

A noteworthy one was creating a platform for high school students who needed interactive video lessons for math and science.

Guess what? I didn’t do jack sh*t with the idea, and now there are multiple sites doing the exact same thing. One of them is making millions each year.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying having a notebook would have automatically propelled me to success, but it would have been the first step into actually taking action.

Ideas can only be transformed into something tangible if we first write them down.

Once you write them down, you know what it is and what you have to do next to make it happen (or not). Making stuff happen is, what I believe, the only way to success.


2. Memory fades, but writing does not

A lot of the time, we simply forget things. We forget what happened. We forget important lessons that would have helped us for the rest of our lives.

We forget about our successes and what led us to failures.

Nowadays, I write down everything I feel could be of even remote importance. As a result, I feel more in control than ever.


3. Learning more about yourself

Let’s face it: Even men and women in their mid-40s don’t know who they truly are and what they like doing. We’re ever-evolving, and it’s good to keep notes.

Having a notebook will prevent you from getting into situations that will do you no good, and it will help you learn more about what makes you tick.

This is particularly true when it comes down to personal problems. Writing your thoughts down on paper really helps you get perspective, and it serves as a cathartic release valve.

Hurdles we come across in life are usually not as big as we think they are, but we cannot dissect them if we never write our problems down.

By analyzing what bothers us, we quickly gain perspective and realize our mountain of sh*t is nothing more than a series of uphill climbs we can easily overcome.


4. Feeling inspired on a consistent basis

By writing down things that inspire you, you’re creating a log of inspirational sources tailored to you.

Whether it is a quote on a poster, a designer piece of furniture, a building or a person, writing it down fuels your engine to keep you going.


5. Accountability.

Whether you’re writing about past accomplishments or future goals, keeping a notebook will hold you accountable.

No one wants to take a step backward, and writing about what you did to move you closer to achieving your goals will push you to keep going forward.


Examples of notes from famous notebooks

To give you some ideas on what to write about, I hope these pictures taken from a few famous notebooks will help you on your quest to greater creativity, productivity and self-awareness.

Kurt Cobain

At first glance, the notes from Cobain may appear to be the scribblings of a crazed and depressed drug addict, but after deeper review, you’ll find that Cobain kept a journal for writing down lyrics and his plans for Nirvana.

Additionally, there are many introspective moments about his thoughts on fame, the state of the music industry and the people who bought his music.

Mark Twain

Mark Twain filled over 40 custom made notebooks during the more than four decades of his life.

Each page had a tab that Twain would tear off after the page had been used, allowing him to easily find the next blank page.

He would write about his thoughts on religion and politics, potential book ideas and the people he met along the way on his journeys.

Marilyn Monroe

Monroe was more than just a beautiful blonde. Her diaries, which contain poems, personal letters and written thoughts, show an intellectually ambitious, charming and witty individual.

Sylvia Plath

Plath kept a journal from the age of 11 until her death at 30. She would write about her observations relating to herself and others, her goals and obsessions and her emotions.

She discussed all the things that delighted her and those that infuriated her. She would also use the journals for writing poetry and doodling.


Your Turn

Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day, my friend. You are going to go online or to your nearest stationary store and buy a notebook and some nice pens.

Though it will only cost you about $15, the things you will be writing down will be of unlimited value down the line.

When you write down ideas and thoughts, you organize your mind. By organizing your mind, you can set clear goals. By setting clear goals, you can take direct action.

By taking direct action, you turn your ideas and dreams into reality.

July Book- Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

“It is never a mistake to say good-bye.” – KV

Summary:
Told with deadpan humour & bitter irony, Kurt Vonnegut’s cult tale of global destruction preys on our deepest fears of witnessing Armageddon &, worse still, surviving it …

Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding ‘fathers’ of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world. For he’s the inventor of ‘ice-nine’, a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet. The search for its whereabouts leads to Hoenikker’s three ecentric children, to a crazed dictator in the Caribbean, to madness. Felix Hoenikker’s Death Wish comes true when his last, fatal gift to humankind brings about the end, that for all of us, is nigh…

My Take, Why its worth a read:
It’s a short quick read that really gets you thinking.  Vonnegut uses Cat’s Cradle to discuss (in a rather funny and biting satire way) issues like religion, politics and the possibility of humanity managing to destroy the world.  He creates his own religion in the book to show us just how much power we give up to dogma and tradition.  How people can be taught to believe anything if there is cause for it. Through the main character John, you will find yourself re-examining  a lot of things that are now “normal” parts of our world.

Favorite Quote:

“Life is a garden, not a road. We enter and exit through the same gate. Wandering, where we go matters less than what we notice.”

About the Author:
Kurt Vonnegut, Junior was an American novelist, satirist, and most recently, graphic artist. He was recognized as New York State Author for 2001-2003.

He was born in Indianapolis, later the setting for many of his novels. He attended Cornell University from 1941 to 1943, where he wrote a column for the student paper, the Cornell Daily Sun. Vonnegut trained as a chemist and worked as a journalist before joining the U.S. Army and serving in WW II.

After the war, he attended University of Chicago as a graduate student in anthropology and also worked as a police reporter at the City News Bureau of Chicago. He left Chicago to work in Schenectady, New York in public relations for General Electric. He attributed his writing style to his reporting work.

His experiences as an advance scout in the Battle of the Bulge, and in particular his witnessing of the bombing of Dresden, Germany whilst a prisoner of war, would inform much of his work
.Vonnegut was a self-proclaimed humanist and socialist (influenced by the style of Indiana’s own Eugene V. Debs) and a lifelong supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union.  The novelist is known for works blending satire, black comedy and science fiction, such as Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Cat’s Cradle (1963), and Breakfast of Champions (1973