In 2015, I published a post called Japanese wisdom for writers about an article in a writing magazine that quoted a Japanese saying about the power of quietly repeating the same activity. I have been exploring a number of Japanese concepts, including ikebana, haiku and the concept of ma (more in a future post) so thought it seemed a good time to repost...…...
Continuance is strength
It got me thinking about how daunting many tasks and projects can seem, to the extent that we can become so overwhelmed we don't actually start, or give up halfway through. I've been working on some really big, ambitious projects over the past few years - mostly non-writing related - and this saying really hit home. Of course, as the author of the article, Robert Paul Weston, points out, feeling overwhelmed can be especially relevant for writers embarking on a novel.
"Typing that last sentence can feel so far away, you may as well be trying to scratch it out in the sands of Mars. As such, dwelling on that ultimate goal can become an intolerable distraction, perhaps intolerable enough for you to give up. If you believe in this old saying, however, the only thing to do is forget that the end even exists. Just keep going."A profound insight, and one that we should apply to life itself.
Article: Japanese Wisdom for Writers by Robert Paul Weston in Writing in Education, issue 65, Spring 2015