This Saturday my daughter was in a Suzuki violin festival with kids from age 4-17 playing various pieces of music. One of Dr. Suzuki’s philosophies is that the more you practice, the better you get, and ability has nothing to do with talent. His line, “you only practice on the days you eat” is now my motto.
I’ve heard lots of times that all writing is practice, even if it’s something that comes out wrong, or it’s something you love that doesn’t get published. It’s all supposed to be worth it, bringing you to the best you can be. And of course, we all want to improve consistently, so writing every day seems an obvious way of doing it.
I wish my problem was something literary like “inspiration,” but sadly, it’s just laziness. I don’t really buy the whole waiting for inspiration thing anyway. There are plenty of good quotes about that:
You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club — Jack London
Inspiration is to work everyday — Charles Baudelaire
Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it. — Madeleine L’Engle
The L’engle quote is my favorite because 1) I’ve often found this to be true and 2) I love and respect Madeleine L’Engle a lot. But I find Baudelaire’s quote the most handy for getting me off my lazy behind. It’s also the most like Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy, which I’m putting on my bulletin board.
Alright. That’s my piece for the day. Time to work. But first, I’ve got to eat something. If I’m only writing on the days I eat, I have to at least eat something, right?