Pick Up Your Pen

There’s a concept in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics that, somewhere in the halls within which the anthropomorphic personification of dreams resides, there is a library that contains all the books that were never written, including Road Trips to the Emerald City by L. Frank Baum and The Bestselling Romantic Spy Thriller I Used To Think About On The Bus That Would Sell A Billion Copies And Mean I’d Never Have to Work Again by…well, most of us actually.

I love that concept, that somewhere out there is a copy of the book I never wrote. I mean, it was something I always wanted to do, but it got pushed aside once bills had to be paid, and yes, now I’m a blogger and a writer for work, but it’s not the same is it? It’s not the same as seeing something you wrote on someone else’s shelf.

Because books have power, don’t they? We still remember the books we read as children. I recall being a voracious reader as a child, always with my nose in a book, reading as I walked along. My reading has slowed down since then; I blame it on being busy and getting old, but really it’s because I don’t make enough time for it. That’s sad and a shame.

So I guess that’s my plea to anyone out there who wants to do something creative but never gets round to it: just get on with it. Get on with it because you’ll never get any more time and because inspiration won’t strike if you never bother to pick up a pen or a paintbrush. Go ahead and do it – carve that sculpture, compose that symphony, paint that painting, write that book. Use it, don’t lose it.

(I stole “Use it, don’t lose it” from an obscure favourite book of mine, Mid-life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders tour with three chords and an attitude, in which a group of middle-aged writers, including Stephen King, form a rock band and tour America… Which, I guess, is also about seizing opportunities while you’ve got the chance.)

So pick up that pen and write for your life. The readers of the future await you.

8 thoughts on “Pick Up Your Pen

  1. GD

    All beginning writers just lack inspiration; a reason to keep writing. Stick with it. You have power in your writing. Pick up the pen!

    I’d like to link to your blog. I have a writing blog at http://shelleddreams.wordpress.com/ Perhaps we could add each other to our blogrolls?

    Great post, looking forward to more.

    1. matthewhyde Post author

      Added you to my blogroll! Thanks for your comment, and congratulations on a really nice blog. It’s cool to see people out there encouraging others…

  2. Pingback: Carnival of Storytelling โ€“ June 16, 2011 | Be the Story

  3. Kim P.

    Snap! I love this post, and I identify with it completely. We writers can’t get anywhere until we ‘pick up the pen.’ Where there is a will, there is a … published book and great satisfaction. Guess I’ll have to rate this 5-star… ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. matthewhyde Post author

      Thank you! The best way to get something written is to just start typing, no excuses. I just need to remember this when it comes to the blog!

  4. MadameHazelnut

    Oh flinch! This post melted all my DNA to single strands. I entrusted a whole shelf of unborn books to the Cosmic Narrator when I left 5 years’ authorship sabbatical to get a new day job. Fortunately said job ALSO has writing at its core, and I have grown more and differently in it than I would have if left to my own devices and desires. Some days the planned opus list for retirement still crowds the work to-do list out of my vision, though, and I’m heard to mutter, “Dear God, I am STILL a mythopath!”…


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