Ernest Hemingway Was Only a Little Bit Crazy

A few months ago I read the The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin and there was one takeaway from the book that I apply to life, brainstorms at work, and justifying why I wake up before 6 am most days.  The key to knowing what will make you happy is to do what you enjoyed as a child.

I wrote.  I have shelves full of notebooks binders of journals, poetry and short stories.  One of my favorite memories from when I was a child was when my sisters and I made our own daily paper: The Carlson Girls Gazette.  I loved writing essays in class and never had to think about writing well – I just did it. I also always was jealous when someone else was praised for their writing.

College through me for a loop.  Originally wanting to study journalism, I already knew that the publishing industry was dying and focused more on studying the business that requires writing well.  Thankfully, social media started emerging right when I was considering options for a career.  Essentially a communication medium, my interest in social media had led me to getting a job after graduating in 2010.  Working at an advertising agency requires my thinking to be geared  to  business, how to make money, and thinking of the objectives of my clients; no Carlson Girls Gazette.

I have programmed in my mind a need to write – and to write well.  I try to write daily for this blog.  Some days I get a decent amount of views, other days I know that most likely only my mom has read it.  Working in advertising doesn’t make it easy to find blocks of time to write, but I do my best by finding pockets: waking up before 6 am on weekdays, writing notes while riding the subway, using my lunch breaks to edit.  Some days are harder than others though and I constantly wonder if there is a point to all this added work.

A few days ago the Paris Review shared a letter from Ernest Hemingway to his sister Ursula from 1919 from  The Letters of Ernest Hemingway, Volume 1: 1907-1922, edited by Sandra Spanier and Robert W. Trogdon. If you read it, you’ll notice the writing is crude and there are misspellings.  I’m not sure if this is just a reflection of a still unregulated English language or ignorance on Hemingway’s part.  My favorite part was in the final paragraph:

“You know sometimes I really do think that I will be a heller of a good writer some day. Every once in a while I knock off a yarn that is so bludy good I can’t figure how I ever wrote it…Everything good takes time and it takes time to be a writer, but by Gad I’m going to be one some day.”

Thinking back to my post on Choosing Smart Daily/Weekly Habits in July, one is never going to be good at something if they don’t dedicate themselves like a madman.  Most great writers have doubted themselves at some point, and it was their persistence that made all the difference from mediocrity to superiority.  That means I will still keep waking up before 6 am to write posts for my mom until I go crazy.

Happy Friday

tUnE-yArDs – “Country”

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