My friend and mentor Dr. Rob Gilbert’s amazing Success Hotline (973.743.4690) is a constant source of motivation for me in writing this blog. In fact, it’s his stories and daily hotline that actually inspired me to launch KWD. Just the other day, I was thrilled when he dedicated one of his messages to me — I felt like I’d won the Pulitzer! The theme was writing. It was so compelling, that I taped it and am passing it on in full:
“Writing talent is very common. What isn’t so common is the willingness to live the life of a writer.
“Way back in the 1930s, one of America’s greatest writers, Sinclair Lewis had just won the Nobel Prize in literature and he was invited to Harvard University to give a seminar one Saturday morning. So there were 40 people waiting in the seminar room and the great writer showed up. He meticulously unpacked his briefcase and he looked around the room and he said, ‘Just by a show of hands, how many of you want to be writers?’ And everybody put their hands up. ‘How many of you really want to be writers?’ And everybody put their hand a little higher. ‘How many of you really, really want to be a writer?’ And they put their hand as high as they could. He said, ‘OK, put your hands down.’ Sinclair Lewis packed up his briefcase and looked around the room and said, ‘Well, in that case, go home and write.’ And with that, Sinclair Lewis left the room and the seminar was over.”
After telling this story, Rob said, “You can think about writing, you can plan to write, you can want to write, but if you want to be a writer, you have to write.” He then added,
“Brian Clark of Copyblogger has 10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer:
2. Write more.
3. Write even more.
4. Write even more than that
5. Write when you don’t want to
6. Write when you do want to.
7. Write when you have something to say.
8. Write when you don’t have something to say.
9. Write every day.
10. Keep writing.
“The great Stephen King, when he’s working on one of his novels, writes 2500 words every single day without fail. He said, ‘I miss a day, I get too distant from my characters. I have to write every day.’
“If you want to be a writer, write every day. The best advice you’ll ever get. Message over.”
Bravo, Rob — thank you! Totally inspired and energized, let’s all write on!