Friday, May 21, 2010


Don't write a book, any kind of book, unless you want to gaze into the substance of everything you are. If you're afraid of feeling utterly alone, having every anxiety and fear exposed, the measure of your relationships tested... don't even write that first page. If I've learned anything from the last ten days, it's that writing requires a certain level of remorselessness.

There are so many elements of my personal philosophy that I wanted to express in my book. These are the things that have torn apart my relationships with people I treasure, prevented me going into the occupation I would probably be most happy, and removed me from the establishment of my faith forever. These are also the things that I cannot deny. I've read a stack of books, from Neumann to Epictetus, trying to isolate my beliefs and attack them. Our beliefs only matter if they can be defended by logic, after being birthed of our feelings.

Every word I write feels like a nudge at my shoulder, like I'm firing an automatic weapon on full auto. Everything I believe flashing in the muzzle flare of my intent, with shell casings, like my ideas, being expended to wound the page. Writing something like this prepares a person to shed their creative blood, and to fight a completely different battle. Will what we believe also help us tell a good story? Will a story with the familiar contemporary issues we face every day create a connection with the reader?

My favorite books were all written long ago, usually in verse, and without remorse. Did John Milton, Tennyson, or Marcus Aurelius regret a single word they penned? I doubt it. They were obviously men who valued courage, virtue, and justice. Ayn Rand surely had no regrets at anything she wrote, fiction or non-fiction.

I've missed deadlines all over the place this week and I'll likely finish up 5k words behind. I'll have to press through into one of my usual days off to make up the difference. Time to quit feeling bad about it and just get it done. Every day I don't meet a deadline, it is another day I'll never get to live again. There are no "do-overs" in life. I could die anytime, and whatever I get done before then is all I'll achieve with my mortal perspective intact.

Everything else feels less than epic, no matter what religion is doing the talking.

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