Monday Morning Writing Motivation: Tolkien on Persistence

in writing •  11 months ago

When [C. S. Lewis] would say, "You can do better than that. Better, Tolkien, please!" I would try. I'd sit down and write the section over and over.
— J.R.R. Tolkien

I just got back from Mythmoot IV, a conference hosted by the Mythgard Institute to demonstrate and encourage the study and enjoyment of imaginative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, fairy tales, etc.). As in past years when I've attended – and I have attended all four of them so far – I get home and immediately want to write all the words and publish all the things I've been holding onto for so long.

But as Tolkien's quote above reminded me this morning, you can't just snap your fingers and have everything you wanted to write suddenly appear on paper. (Not yet, anyway…) Writing takes time, persistence, and a willingness to explore your thoughts, ideas, and imaginings fully. The process can be facilitated with little tricks and techniques and habits, but it cannot be hurried. Or at least it can't be hurried and still be good. As I frequently tell my daughters, there's a difference between rushing and doing something quickly. Sometimes the quickest way to do what you want or need to get done is to actually slow down a little make sure everything is done well.

That sentiment is as true with writing as with any other aspect of life. Writing a story is a journey of discovery – an aventure, as Dr. Verlyn Flieger explained to the graduates of Signum University this weekend during her bequeathing of a quest on us. To undertake a journey requires dedication and persistence, and that sometimes means going back and trying a new route. On the way home from the Mythmoot conference last night, I added a good 20 minutes to my trip because I thought I had missed a turn, only to find out I hadn't. I had to retrace my route, and ended up back where I had been before with that much time lost. The difference is that the second time I was sure of where I was headed, and that sort of thing can happen with your writing as well. Your characters or ideas might ultimately wind up in the same place where they were before, but this time you'll have done it right.

The important thing is to be willing to keep moving forward. Write the things you want to write. It might take much longer than you thought, but it will be worth it in the end. Sit down like Tolkien did and write over and over, until you have it right. You'll be happier in the end, and so will your readers.

Tolkien on writing and persistence
Background Image: Pixabay
Quote from The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 294 to Charlotte and Denis Plimmer

Monday Morning Writing Motivations

Recent Posts

Follow Curtis Follow Bookdotes

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  Trending

Congratulations @caweyant! You have completed some achievement on Steemit and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

Award for the number of comments

Click on any badge to view your own Board of Honnor on SteemitBoard.
For more information about SteemitBoard, click here

If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

If you want to support the SteemitBoard project, your upvote for this notification is welcome!