Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: inspiration

“Actions Speak Louder Than Words.”

I’m back from my psychospiritual sabbatical—got my ducks in a row and ready to start quacking… Actions Speak Louder Than Words


pondering on the title of this post, all I can do right now is give you words; though, as I write these words I’m performing an action…

Shall I change the title to Action Speaks Just as Loud as Words?


Leaving that psychological perplexity for possible future contemplation, I’ll forge ahead with a few links of posts I’ve done featuring Nilofer Merchant; then, look at a particular piece by her…

Writers Finding the Best Advice, Wherever It Might Be…

Do You Have To Give Something Up To Collaborate?

Revisiting The #SocialEra

All of those are full of inspiring ideas…

The particular article by Nilofer I want to feature today is, It’s What You Do That Defines You.

An excerpt that should get everyone thinking:

“How often I think of thanking the people who have been helpful. But then, I don’t act on it. Sometimes it’s because I feel like that might make that person uncomfortable (what if they think I’m asking them for something and the gratitude is just a setup?). Or, I worry I won’t find the right words, so then I’ll ‘do it wrong’ so better not to do it at all. Or, since I don’t know that person in real life, why does it actually matter that they know if little-old-me got value from their work?”

Perhaps you’re the kind of writer (or reader, or publisher) who notes and responds appropriately to every single person who helps you (whether they know they are or not), or shares with you, or comes to your rescue (whether they know they’re rescuing you or not…)…

Not many of us are that sort of person………

Nilofer’s example:

…there’s a writer I’ve never met. Yet this stranger had a huge impact on my work. By her putting her work out there for me to find, it really helped me to finish The Power of Onlyness.

“I found Theo Nester when surfing the web in December 2015…”

Nilofer goes on to describe how she surfed further and…

“…found a blog post and interview of Theo talking with author Cheryl Strayed. And from that interview and post, I wrote down what I learned in my journal: “writing requires trust; trust the words will find you, and you the words.”

As ever, I urge you to go read the full article; but, for the purpose of this post, I’ll end with these words from Nilofer:

“I share this publicly not knowing how to reach Theo, but also as a reminder to close that gap between intent and action because that’s how we manifest ourselves into being. Or, in the words of Batman, what matters is not who we are underneath, but what we do that defines us.”

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Why Do Certain People Become Writers?

Writing, as a devoted hobby or a professional activity, demands a few qualities most people use but not in the concentrated way a writer does.

In fact, concentration itself is a critical quality for writing; whether it’s applied for many sequential short sessions, or persisted in for long periods, or engaged in with a mixed pattern of short and long durations.

While concentrating on a writing task, most writers must also allow for a process that can interrupt the flow of activity. What comes as a flash of inspiration and must be incorporated in the project (sometimes demanding significant restructuring) often arrives because of the habit of devoted concentration on the task—the focus on the writing seems to call forth the new perspective or material—using the conscious mind intently triggers the unconscious to supply its treasures

Certainly, various techniques can be learned that can facilitate the art of writing but most of the Greats have counseled ample reading and regular writing as the best education.

So, a first attempt at answering the question, why do certain people become writers?, could be that certain people find themselves able to concentrate while allowing a flow of intuition to enter the work.

But this is only a how-do-they-do-it explanation—“Why? Because they know How.”

There must be a Why that’s bigger than that

Perhaps a glance at the word origins of “write” might shed a bit of light: carve, scratch, cut, paint.

To explore these word origins, I’m going to borrow some words from a post I wrote back in January, Really, No *Really*, What The Heck Is Writing?:

“Pardon me while a let the poetic side of my personality take control for a minute:

“Authors can sometimes be said to carve a place for themselves in our culture.

“There are also many writers barely scratching out a living.

“Many wish they could cut a swath of recognition through the crowd of other writers.

“And, our favorite writers are those who paint images in our minds with their words.

“Anyone who ranks high on tests of left-brained activity is probably cringing at such a poor example of the application of word roots to an understanding of the meaning of writing.

“You right-brained folks are probably creating other, equally-poetic examples :-)

To answer the title question, Why Do Certain People Become Writers?, may only need your adding to the comments on this post with your personal reasons for writing (if you’re the kind of person who pursues the art); though, reading the whole former post, Really, No *Really*, What The Heck Is Writing?, may lead to an answer

Also, some concentration on the concepts of carving, scratching, cutting, and painting, mixed with a few intuitive flashes, might lead you to an answer.

However you answer the question, I hope you’ll share it in the comments
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