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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Write On

A Letter to Agnes DeMille
There is a vitality,
a life force,
a quickening
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time,
this expression is unique.

And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.
The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine
how good it is
nor how valuable it is
nor how it compares with other expressions.

It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly
to keep the channel open.
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.
You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate YOU.

Keep the channel open...
No artist is pleased...

There is no satisfaction whatever at anytime
There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching
and makes "us" MORE alive than the others.


Martha Graham
(As quoted in The Life and Work of Martha Graham by Agnes de Mille)

cj Sez: Martha Graham is considered one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. She was an American dancer and choreographer, one of the foremost pioneers of modern dance.

Yes, Ms. Graham was writing to another dancer, but her thoughts apply to artists in every genre—dance, music, photography, fine arts, literary composition. She is also quoted as saying “I believe we learn by practice,” and added that “Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.”

Inviting perfection, indeed—yet never, in our own minds, achieving that goal but perhaps some level of satisfaction with the effort. So, I will add to Ms. Graham's sage advice: Write On ! 

This post appealed to me because I've just finished a round of judging this year's Daphne du Maurier contest entries for the Romance Writers of America. I wanted to pass along a little encouragement.


Okay, you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
cjpetterson@gmail.com
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(PS: The toons are from Facebook pages.) 

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