Advice for Writers: Spend It All Now
One of my favorite books is Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. She writes with an astonishing extravagance and grace. If you haven’t read it, you should. If you have, you should read it again.
I like her advice here. It’s clear she follows it herself. Read Pilgrim and you’ll know what I mean.
I tend to believe that I have been given a finite number of words and a limited and rapidly depleting supply of ideas. I fear sometimes that if I use all the good ones now, I’ll have nothing left in the future. But I’ve found over the years that Annie is right. We don’t know the depths of our well of words and ideas. It is far deeper than we imagine — maybe even infinitely deep.
If you have a great idea, use it immediately. Write it. Do it. More will come. You may even find that that idea releases a flood of new, better ideas. Writers should be prodigal.
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