Sci-fi author Robert Heinlein was obviously a perceptive man.
I bought this calligraphy from artist Colleen Kobe* several years ago. I was mesmerized by the richness of her elegant calligraphy (ants included) as well as the wisdom in Heinlein’s quote, and knew it was something I needed to hang with. I haven’t read his novel Time Enough for Love from which this quote was taken but these words are strong for me. I agree the more we can do for ourselves, the better. It tends to lessen our vulnerability and increase our self-empowerment. I can’t imagine arguing against either of those.
Ms Kobe said she read the quote while in high school: “It had a profound effect on the rest of my life. I’ve always tried to be interested in and try lots of new activities in life.”
You can take any vocation or avocation and fine tune an appropriate collection of “shoulds” for it.
There are a good many times when I believe we must not “should” on ourselves, but in keeping with the real message of Mr. Heinlein’s succinct quote I couldn’t resist creating a list based on my experiences and observations to date–
A writer should . . .
Be willing to revise . . . or start over
Know how to listen
Want to see
Recognize junk words
Lay out a strategy
Track all submissions, queries and payments
Morally support other writers
Know when to speak up and when to shut up
Take what you want
Refuse what you don’t
Pat an editor on the back
Send handwritten thank you notes
Call someone up and ‘just ask’
Accept the “no,” but keep pursuing that “yes”
Back up computer files regularly
Expect no one to care . . .
Know that you always will.
* E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org