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Being a Writer | Note 36

Ideas come to me daily — or, should I say, mostly nightly. I used to let these ideas come and go, but not too long ago I made a commitment to myself to always write them down. I have a notebook by my bed – in fact, I have a notebook in every single room – and even if I’m tired, I make an effort to scribble notes as thoughts materialise.

Inevitably, most of the ideas are bad. Some are the beginning of something that could one day make sense. Others – not many – are really quite decent. And even if they go nowhere, I see them as an exercise and an experiment: a necessary training for the craft of being a writer.

Every now and then, I get really excited about an idea. My list of potential non-fiction book subjects grows by the week. If one of them one day comes to fruition, then I guess it will be all worth it. If none ever materialises, perhaps it is ok too, because writing, thinking, and working on an idea is the goal in itself.

But in Polish, we say słomiany zapał. It means the kind of zeal that burns like straw. A flash in the pan. How typical. ADHD much? We also say: grafomania. You can imagine the meaning. Milan Kundera had a few concise words on the subject.

At the same time, for every successful author, the published work is the tip of an iceberg... continue reading now →


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