An aspiring writer asked Nail Gaiman the following:
“I’m shockingly lazy and find it hard to get motivated to sit in front of that computer and write. Help me!
Neil Gaiman’s Response: “Why? You being lazy and unmotivated and not writing allows another writer, who does sit down and write, to get published in your place. Magazines and publishers only have so many pages, so many annual publishing spots. You’re letting someone else who wants to do the work get published. Surely that’s a good thing…?”
This, of course, offended a lot of people. How dare Gaiman tell people things like this! How dare he be so insensitive. Blunt even.
It reminded me, on the other hand, of a story I read a while back.
A man who played the violin simply beautifully was doing an interview. Someone came up afterward and said “I always loved the violin. I wish I could play like that.”
To which he responded: “No you don’t. If you did, then you’d be practicing every day, eight hours a day. You wouldn’t be wishing. You’d be doing.”
To be a truly great violinist you must practice. Learn. Practice some more. Memorize great amounts of music, and then recreate it as your own.
Really, writing, like any other art form, takes the same thing. Practice. Time. Patience. Tenasity. If you really want it you will do it. If not, then your just making excuses.
Neil Gaiman had it right. If you don’t write then someone else will. Someone else will be published, and they will have their dream while you are still wishing on a star for it to be handed to you.
Well said–by both you and Gaiman, and the violinist.