Motivational Monday – live as if we are dying

Interviewers ask famous writers why they write, and it was (if I remember correctly) the poet John Ashbery who answered, “Because I want to.”  Flannery O’Connor answered, “Because I’m good at it,” and when the occasional interviewer asks me, I quote them both.  Then I add that other than writing, I am completely unemployable.  But really, secretly, when I’m not being smart-alecky, it’s because I want to and I’m good at it.  I always mention a scene from the movie Chariots of Fire in which, as I remember it, the Scottish runner, Eric Liddell, who is the hero, is walking with his missionary sister on a gorgeous heathery hillside in Scotland.  She is nagging him to give up training for the Olympics and to get back to doing his missionary work at their church’s mission in China.  And he replies that he wants to go China because he feels it is God’s will for him, but that first he is going to train with all of his heart, because God also made him very, very fast.

So God made some of us fast in this area of working with words, he gave us the gift of loving to read with the same kind of passion with which we love nature.  My students at the writing workshops have this gift of loving to read, and some of them are really fast, really good with words, and some of them aren’t really fast and don’t write all that well, but they still love good writing, and they just want to write.  And I say, “Hey!  That is good enough for me.  Come on down.”

. . . My deepest belief is that to live as if we’re dying can set us free. Dying people teach you to pay attention and to forgive and not to sweat the small things.

~ Anne Lamott


About hopeseguin

Who am I? I'm still discovering just who I am, I suppose. A. Powell Davis writes that "Life is just a chance to grow a soul."

Posted on January 11, 2010, in Books and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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