When final conviction tarries

In a new place, in a new role, it’s hard to write. I picture that I will look back and cringe. I picture myself reading THIS and cringing. I am trying to remember: I have little concept of right; wrong; pretentious; lovely; cliched; spankin’ new. I can’t expect to. There’s no way. I just got here.

If you can discover what you are like, if you can discover what you truly believe about most of the major matters of life, you will be able to write a story which is honest and original and unique. But those are very large “ifs” and it takes hard digging to get at the roots of one’s own convictions.

Very often one finds a beginner who is unwilling to commit himself because he knows just enough about his own processes to be sure that his beliefs of today are not likely to be his beliefs of tomorrow. This operates to hold him under a sort of spell. He waits for final wisdom to arrive, and since it tarries he feels that he cannot committ himself to print…. Obviously what such a writer needs is to be made to realize that his case is not isolated.; that we all continue to grow and that in order to write at all, we must write on the basis of our present beliefs.

If you are unwilling to write from the honest, though perhaps far from final, point of view that represents your present state, you may come to your deathbed with your contribution to the world still unmade, and just as far from final conviction about the universe as you were at the age of twenty.

— Dorthea Brande, 1934

One thought on “When final conviction tarries

  1. There’s nothing wrong with some minor cringing here and there, and playing it safe …well, it’s comfortable – but it’s a trap at the same time. I don’t think you’ll screw up that bad!

    That Dorthea person is bang-on about writing (creating) on the basis of our present beliefs; we’re all just a work in progress anyway.

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