“a freely chosen task”

P1050035I seem to have a lot of conversations with people who want to write, but “not now.” I’ll do it when I feel more of an urge, they tell me, when I feel inspired, when the spirit moves me. And years go by and the writing still hasn’t happened.

This is what I’ve learned from my own process — my own mistakes and foibles and triumphs. Inspiration comes after the work begins. If you want to write, start creating a little time and space in which to write. Practice writing. Practice beginning to write. If you can’t think of anything to write this time, copy something out or do an imitation. Begin again, practice beginning, again tomorrow, at the same time, if humanly possible.

If you want to write, that is reason enough to write. You don’t need inspiration. You need a habit.

“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”

– Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

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