Tomorrow is always one more day away

“Ever read The Brothers Karamazov?” I asked.

“Once, a long time ago.”

“Well, toward the end, Alyosha is speaking to a young student named Kolya Krasotkin. And he says, Kolya, you’re going to have a miserable future. But overall, you’ll have a happy life.”

Two beers down, I hesitated before opening my third.

“When I first read that, I didn’t know what Alyosha meant,” I said. “How was it possible for a life of misery to be happy overall? But then I understood, that misery could be limited to the future.”

 

The above is a quote from the current book I’m reading, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. I skimmed The Brothers Karamazov in high school, but I don’t remember any of it. I did find this quote spoke to me, though.

How can you live for tomorrow when you curse the night and day? It seems to me, what the author might have meant, is that regardless of your situation it is possible most of the time to be happy in the moment. If you don’t look too much at the horrible or difficult things coming your way, you can enjoy the thing you are doing right now. The cold beer you are drinking, or the sun on your face, or the conversation you’re having–regardless of what awful things lie around the corner.

If you can enjoy the moment, you’ll enjoy your life, even if that moment is surrounded by a past and future of misery.

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Every writer

“Every writer I know has trouble writing.” – Joseph Heller

I love seeing quotes like these. Writers tend to be a solitary species, in my experience, so I think can sometimes talk themselves into believing they are terrible, just because they are having a hard time.

Well, every writer has a hard time, even the best ones. Being good at something doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, I’d say the better you are at something the more you realize you have to learn, and the more you push yourself.

So revel in the difficulty, and congratulate yourself for still doing it!

 

Don’t be afraid to fail

Failing is part of success. No one gets it done on the first try, so better get it out of the way so you can learn and move on to the next thing!

It’s not whether you win or lose, fail or succeed, produce a masterpiece or a piece of crap–it’s the doing that matters. To quote a couple more go sayings that I’ve applied to writing:

“Sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.”

“The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried. ”

So do it! The only failure that matters is a failure to try in the first place.