“Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got.”
Philip José Farmer
“I want to be thoroughly used up when I die for the harder I work the more I live.”
George Bernard Shaw
I can barely write this, I’m so weary. For the past few days, I’ve been working intensely on some revisions for my YA novel. I have a deadline to meet, so I’ve been working against it steadily and relentlessly. It’s been intense, but tremendously satisfying. I’m still not there yet, but I’m getting closer. To be honest, I’ve been coasting for a while on the writing front. I haven’t worked with this level of concentration for a while and I’m a bit rusty. That’s probably why I’m feeling so wiped out.
Still, we all know what it’s like to feel tapped out and used up, but in a positive, productive way. It’s the feeling we get when we know that we’ve used every ounce of energy and creativity in the service of something that we feel is worthy of all our strength and devotion. It’s the same feeling top athletes experience when leave everything on the field: When they go all out instead of holding back.
“I attack the paper, struggling like a lion” — that’s how Vincent van Gogh described his painting process. I don’t know why, but for me (and for many of you, I’m sure), my home, my playground — and my battleground, as well– isn’t a canvas or a sports field, it’s the page. For me, to feel used up is to know that I’ve done honor to the page. And that’s a great feeling. Write on!