Seeds from an Old Notebook

“Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.” — Neil Gaiman

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Illustration by the author

I was doing some cleaning, organizing (one of life’s necessary evils) and came across an old notebook. I have thirty years of journals, most of which I can put my hands on in a minute here in my office, but I’ve also filled a number of “writer’s journals” and personal journals over the years with miscellaneous notes, quotes and observations. It’s interesting to me that in this particular notebook I have inscription dates (Mar 10, Mar 14) but do not have the year identified. I’m guessing this notebook is about two decades old.

Here are a few notes I found there.

  1. “There’s nothing stupid about a person who throws away nothing to get something; but a person who throws away everything to get nothing, that’s stupid.”

2. Like a bird I flit from one branch to another, making progress daily along one line or another… I make decisions based on enthusiasm or necessity; commitments come first, then my energy level determines what is next.
[EdNote: How interesting that this flitting bird imagery just came back to me yesterday in this blog post on Impediments to Sustained Attention.]

3. Read a chapter of Men Are From Mars, Women Venus… talked about how men go within while stressed, solving their problems “inside the cave,” becoming internal. This “detachment” (becoming absent) drives women crazy.

4. In order to keep them from becoming a hindrance, our work goals must be as compelling as our personal goals. Otherwise, work soon becomes a barrier to what we really want. My goal: synthesize.

5. Men of action change the world. Talk is cheap.

6. Napoleon was a man of action, not necessarily original. He borrowed from history. “A developer and perfecter of the ideas of others.” — p. 136, Chandler

7. On Motivation: “A man does not have himself killed for a few half-pence a day, or for a petty distinction. You must speak to the soul in order to electrify the man.” — Napoleon

8. “Strategy is the art of making use of time and space.” — Napoleon

9. Is it foolish to “force” growth? Can we really “make” it happen? Isn’t health, growth, and reaching up for the sky our natural propensity? We have within us the seed of dreams. Our job is to remove barriers, to participate with that which is within us that strives, that it may thrive. What holds us back? What are my self-defeating behaviors?

10. “Occupy till I come” implies that we be busy, active, not passive about it.

Just sowing seeds for the week ahead…. Have a good one.

To watch how my illustration at the top of this page was created, visit Not Dead Yet, at YouTube.

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon

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