Monday, September 19, 2011

A New Year Resolution

When I say "New Year" I mean a new school year. Just so we're clear.

Basically, I have this really awesome Screenwriting professor who has a zillion brilliant adages on writing and what it means to be a writer. He's quite simply a genius. But the crux of what he says is that. as writers, we should feel miserable when we're not writing - true - and guilty the days we don't write - too true - and that we must write every day if we ever want to consider ourselves "writers" - infinite truth.

However, being a college student (again *groan*), I don't always have time to dedicate an hour or so to writing each day. I have other things going on. Sure, if I never got on the internet again and gave up my Solitaire habit I might have that kind of time at my disposal, but at this point... no. But I need to write more. Really. I know, I've said this a zillion times before, but I mean it this time. It's time for me to start taking my craft more seriously like my screenwriting professor insists.

So I leave you with this, and will dedicate the next 20 minutes to starting to write something, anything, to share with you tomorrow at some point.

“A writer is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the second being inside him, and the world that makes him who he is: when I speak of writing, what comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or literary tradition, it is a person who shuts himself up in a room, sits down at a table, and alone, turns inward; amid its shadows, he builds a new world with words. This man – or this woman – may use a typewriter, profit from the ease of a computer, or write with a pen on paper, as I have done for 30 years. As he writes, he can drink tea or coffee, or smoke cigarettes. From time to time he may rise from his table to look out through the window at the children playing in the street, and, if he is lucky, at trees and a view, or he can gaze out at a black wall. He can write poems, plays, or novels, as I do. All these differences come after the crucial task of sitting down at the table and patiently turning inwards. To write is to turn this inward gaze into words, to study the world into which that person passes when he retires into himself, and to do so with patience, obstinacy, and joy. As I sit at my table, for days, months, years, slowly adding new words to the empty page, I feel as if I am creating a new world, as if I am bringing into being that other person inside me, in the same way someone might build a bridge or a dome, stone by stone. The stones we writers use are words. As we hold them in our hands, sensing the ways in which each of them is connected to the others, looking at them sometimes from afar, sometimes almost caressing them with our fingers and the tips of our pens, weighing them, moving them around, year in and year out, patiently and hopefully, we create new worlds.”
- Orhan Pamuk in his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in Literature (December 2006)


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