Tag Archives: encouragement

Mark Twain - Samuel Langhorne Clemens

Two Most Important Days

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Mark Twain


This quote resurfaced in an article from 2014 that was shared by my friend and fellow author Michael Ripplinger. The article itself, The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna is an excellent read, and worth spending some time with before the start of a new year—especially if you sit on the cusp of following a dream and you find yourself terrified.

❄️ 💀 ❄️

David Bowie

David Bowie on Stardust

My friend Emily shared this Blank on Blank and, after watching it, I knew I’d need to post it here. Some wonderful and amazing thoughts from David Bowie. I especially like his reasoning around art and audience and the artist’s relationship to their work. Watch it below.

“You should turn around at the end of the day and say I really like that piece of work or that piece of work sucked. Not, was that popular or wasn’t it popular?”

Rest in peace, Mr. Bowie. Thanks for being one of the good ones.

WoodyGuthrie

Woody Guthrie’s List of “New Years Rulin’s”

In 1943, American folk legend, Woody Guthrie wrote down a list of promises he wanted to keep for a good year. Not unlike the New Year’s resolutions people make today. The list is an interesting read, and I have a few observations. But first, check it out:

Woodie Guthrie's "New Years Rulin's"Click the Image to View It Larger

Here’s the full list:

  1. Work more and better
  2. Work by a schedule
  3. Wash teeth if any
  4. Shave
  5. Take bath
  6. Eat good — fruit — vegetables — milk
  7. Drink very scant if any
  8. Write a song a day
  9. Wear clean clothes — look good
  10. Shine shoes
  11. Change socks
  12. Change bed cloths often
  13. Read lots good books
  14. Listen to radio a lot
  15. Learn people better
  16. Keep rancho clean
  17. Dont get lonesome
  18. Stay glad
  19. Keep hoping machine running
  20. Dream good
  21. Bank all extra money
  22. Save dough
  23. Have company but dont waste time
  24. Send Mary and kids money
  25. Play and sing good
  26. Dance better
  27. Help win war — beat fascism
  28. Love mama
  29. Love papa
  30. Love Pete
  31. Love everybody
  32. Make up your mind
  33. Wake up and fight

I am sure Guthrie never meant any of us to see this list. It’s intently personal and covers things like simple hygiene, financial decisions, and maintaining family relationships. However, I found it interesting how even Guthrie, who was a musical genius who inspired a generation of folk singers, has to encourage himself in his art. We can see how he wants to keep working hard, how he wants to continue to improve his craft. He mentions working on a schedule and staying productive. This from the father of folk music.

Many creatives struggle and get depressed when they see someone else celebrating their victories. Why does it seem so easy for them, but so hard for ourselves? We wonder why we can’t get something done or why it feels so difficult. But the truth of the matter is its hard for everyone. Even a genius like Guthrie struggled. We can see it in this list.

I think my favorite “rulin” is also some the most important advice we can take from this list and I believe it was the reason Guthrie was so successful with his music. Number thirty-three: wake up and fight. Every day.

Cormac McCarthy

Make Yourself Available

“Even if what you’re working on doesn’t go anywhere, it will help you with the next thing you’re doing. Make yourself available for something to happen. Give it a shot.”

Cormac McCarthy

Sadly, life conspired against me this week and there will be no Friday Link Pack for today. Sorry about that folks. We should be back next week. In the meantime enjoy this quote and if you’re really jonesing for some links check out some of the previous Link Packs.

Camp NaNoWriMo 2015

Camp NaNoWriMo Kicks Off Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the beginning of the summer session of National Novel Writing Month: Camp NaNoWriMo! If you’re new to writing or just want to try out the lifestyle, I highly encourage you to attempt a NaNoWriMo at least once. It’s a fascinating experience. It’ll help you discover your creative process and understand how you work as a writer.

Since the kickoff is tomorrow, I figured it’d be helpful to share some of my previous NaNoWriMo posts with everyone. Hopefully, you can glean something useful from my advice.

  • NaNoWriMo Is Here
    I offer a few simple steps to getting your writing project complete, from spending time researching, to actully writing those 1700 words a day, to getting involved in the NaNoWriMo community.
  • NaNoWriMo Cometh – Four Early Tips To Enhance Your Novel Writing
    While most of these require some preparation ahead of time, I find that these four tips are very helpful in aiding any author. I have four every single one of these critical to my own success.

and when you’re done…

  • NaNoWriMo Is Over, Now What?
    Save this one until August 1st. I break down some thoughts on where you can take that freshly finished manuscript.

Oh, since you’re starting out, do yourself a favor and watch this video. It’s still the best (and most encouraging) little videos for anyone starting something new. (It’s also a bit NSFW, so consider yourself warned.)

Good luck campers! Have fun, we’ll all be here on the other side ready and excited to read your finished masterpieces.