Bookmark #892

When sitting and braving a blank page, there are a few tools at a writer’s disposal. Then, there are the frivolities—bells and whistles many writers put into their routine—like a favourite drink, a scented candle, and other things which have little to no impact on the work. The work only depends on three things that you can bring to the page, and you must do it honestly, and you must do it earnestly, and only then will the words ring truer than the gust of wind on a muggy day, bringing with it much-needed refreshment, only then will the words be, put colloquially, a breath of fresh air.

A writer must bring four things in total to the table on a good. Themselves, of course, and not in merely carrying their body to the desk, but they must be fully present, fully involved with the act of writing, and you can often tell the work where a writer was aloof from the work where the writer brought themselves in their entirety. It is, at times, the most apparent thing to note in a body of work. And what if you, the writer, cannot fully be present? Then, make do. What is ideal and what is possible often have a wide berth between them, like two strangers on a train who do not wish to be acquainted and, thus, let each other know this without saying a single word. Still, you must strive and greet the ideal as much as you can, and sometimes, it smiles back.

And once they have brought themselves, they must also bring the three tools with them: experience, knowledge and tenacity. On most days, for most pieces and passages, one or two will suffice. When you do not have knowledge, you will find that experience lets you fill in the gaps well, and the other way round works as well. What of the tenacity, you ask? Well, to brave through when you have neither of the other two and what is braving? It is acquiring the other two. It is going out of your way to experience things. It is reading and reading and reading for hours to gain the knowledge you lack. But most importantly, it is to sit and write without either of the two if push comes to shove, and it is seeing the words through till the end.

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