I keep coming back to this in part because I have taped it at eye level above my desktop computer. But I’ve been writing a lot on my laptop lately, so I hadn’t sat down at the desk for a while.
“Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.” — Ray Bradbury
Today it was the end of the quote that hit me. Three valuable bits of advice are in that third sentence.
1. Get up. To write what you love, first you have to show up to write. Settle into your writing space and write.
2. Write something you love. Now, Bradbury elsewhere has said to write something that you hate — that’s where his iconic short story “The Pedestrian” came from, because he hated that taking a solitary stroll down a street was becoming a suspicious act. In any case, write something that raises emotion in you. Move your fingers and let them dance.
3. Write something to live for. Write something you have to say before you expire. Write something that will make your reader want to live, something that will make your reader see why living is such a good thing, something your reader will want to experience or fix.
The key word is love. If you don’t love writing, if it feels too much like work, either you’ve lost the delight and need to tap it again or you need to find another outlet for your love.