Advice for Moving on: Leave Quickly & Don’t Look Back

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“I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.”  ― Beryl Markham, West with the Night

Guest Feature – “Alla my stuff”

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somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff
not my poems or a dance I give up in the street
but somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff
like a kleptomaniac workin hard & forgettin while stealin
this is mine / this ain’t yr stuff /
now why don’t you put me back & let me hang out in my own self
somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff
& didn’t care enuf to send a note home sayin
I waz late for my solo conversation
or two sizes too small for my own tacky skirts
what can I do wit something of no value on
a open market / did you getta dime for my things
hey man / where are you goin wid alla my stuff
I see ya hidin my laugh
I want my stuff back
my rhythms & my voice
this is some delicate leg & whimsical kiss / I gotta have to give to my choice
now you can’t have me less I give me away

– Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls

Writing Desire

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As the hours turn into days and days into weeks and weeks into months and months into years, what keeps a writer writing? This is a question posed by writers, bloggers, poets, victims of writer’s block, etc. It is a question begged to be answered by the blank stare of white paper, literally or digitized into Word Documents and notepads. But the answer is simple: what keeps a writer writing is his desire to write. His need to pluck at random thoughts and stitch them into language. Sometimes it is a line or two, sometimes a whole paragraph, sometimes an entire manuscript, sometimes a poem, anything to keep writing; a transcribed confession of the heart that must be communicated on paper. Anything you want to do can only be done if you want to do it. It is a lesson that applies to positive and negative, good and bad, right and wrong. To right my wrong I have to want to do it. To strengthen my right I have to want to do it. To write I have to want to write.

imagesWriters are often told that doing more of it sharpens the skill, this is true. You’ll become more familiar with your individual writing style and your individual writing voice by doing it more. But the key to getting this far is to actually want to do it. What are you willing to sacrifice to ensure that you keep writing? Perhaps you’d like to set aside 15 minutes a day. This alone can make a big difference in shaping your writing habits and inspiring you to want to write more. Whatever it is, there must be an unquenchable desire to write in order to continue to do so. This desire may be influenced by a lot of things, but nothing should be able to kill that influence itself. It is untainted by the greatness or failures of those before or behind you. They are just grand instruments striking a cord at your beloved longing. Striking against the wanting in your chest and fueling a fire that just makes you want to write even more. The desire to write, it is the undying flame, and the living water. Even if you are your own audience, your ambition to create and invent and revolutionize through words is something you always hold on to.