The Obligation to Write

Sometimes, when I read my old stuff, I don’t remember writing it. And sometimes I think it’s good. I’ll marvel at a particular word choice or phrase, pondering “Where the heck did that come from?” It’s a wondrous feeling, knowing I was in the flow at that moment, the mysterious lightning-in-a-bottle process in which we get out of our own way and let the words channel through us from . . . somewhere.

It’s all part of having talent, the gifts we’re born with. Everyone has talent, whether it’s writing, music, painting (a portrait or a house), cooking, chess, making a basket (dunk or weave), or adding a row of numbers in your head. But, to paraphrase Spider-Man, with great talent comes great responsibility. Whatever you’re good at, you have an obligation to do. Not only that, you have an obligation to get better at it, take it as far as your talent, hard work and studies will allow. No excuses, no procrastinating, no bullshit. Anything else is an insult to yourself and your talent, wherever you believe it came from.

So get to work.