Most of Which Never Happened

August 25, 2009 · 2 comments

Mark Twain is reputed to have said ” I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened”

So too with my blog. There have been lots of brilliant ideas for posts which haven’t unfortunately happened yet. An occupational hazard of an active mind? Procrastination? Overcommitment?

This short video by Seth Godin I found particularly apt, and my intent is to take its lessons to heart. The key take? “What you do for a living is not be creative, what you do is ship”

Seth Godin: Quieting the Lizard Brain from 99% on Vimeo.

Stanly Kunitz in an interview in the Paris Review:

The poem in the head is always perfect. Resistance starts when you try to convert it into language. Language itself is a kind of resistance to the pure flow of self. The solution is to become one’s language. You cannot write a poem until you hit upon its rhythm. That rhythm not only belongs to the subject matter, it belongs to your interior world, and the moment they hook up there’s a quantum leap of energy. You can ride on that rhythm, it will carry you somewhere strange.

David Bayles and Ted Orland in Art and Fear note:

imagination is free to race a hundred works ahead conceiving pieces you could and perhaps should and maybe one day will execute – but not today, not in the piece at hand. All you can work on today is directly in front of you.”

More soon……..

  • My friend Victor Fischer of the Mark Twain Project looked into the records to see if it was possible to verify that Mark Twain actually said it:

    It is one of a long list of sayings “attributed” to [Twain], possibly with the impulse to give it some heft. Ralph Keyes in “'Nice Guys Finish Seventh': False Phrases, Spurious Sayings, and Familiar Misquotations” calls it the “Twain Syndrome” and quotes Bennett Cerf: “Any honest celebrity who subscribes to a clipping service, will admit that he learns about some of his cleverest punch-lines for the first time when he reads that he has delivered them.”

  • My friend Victor Fischer of the Mark Twain Project looked into the records to see if it was possible to verify that Mark Twain actually said it:

    It is one of a long list of sayings “attributed” to [Twain], possibly with the impulse to give it some heft. Ralph Keyes in “'Nice Guys Finish Seventh': False Phrases, Spurious Sayings, and Familiar Misquotations” calls it the “Twain Syndrome” and quotes Bennett Cerf: “Any honest celebrity who subscribes to a clipping service, will admit that he learns about some of his cleverest punch-lines for the first time when he reads that he has delivered them.”

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