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Reflections - Roald Dahl, Boy: Tales of Childhood




“We all have our moments of brilliance and glory, and this was mine.”

& this...

"When writing about oneself, one must strive to be truthful. Truth is more important than modesty.”

It's easy to see our perceived negative traits as insurmountable mountains, and to downplayour strengths. While do we always error on the side of negativity when it comes to looking into the mirror? I love these quotes about truly giving credit where credit is due. We should always strive for the truth in all matters, even - no, especially - when it comes to ourselves. We can't truly expect to see the world around us as it truly is until we start with seeing us as we truly are, including - no, especially - our own moments of brilliance and glory.


“I began to realize how simple life could be if one had a regular routine to follow with fixed hours and a fixed salary and very little original thinking to do. The life of a writer is absolute hell compared with the life of a businessman. The writer has to force himself to work. He has to make his own hours and if he doesn’t go to his desk at all there is nobody to scold him. If he is a writer of fiction he lives in a world of fear. Each new day demands new ideas and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not. Two hours of writing fiction leaves this particular writer absolutely drained. For those two hours he has been miles away, he has been somewhere else, in a different place with totally different people, and the effort of swimming back into normal surroundings is very great. It is almost a shock. The writer walks out of his workroom in a daze. He wants a drink. He needs it. It happens to be a fact that nearly every writer of fiction in the world drinks more whisky than is good for him. He does it to give himself faith, hope and courage. A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.”

It has always seemed a paradox to me that writing, as well as my other creative pursuits, can leave me so drained as if I had just run miles, or as Roald puts it, swam miles. What is it about hard mental work that can feel just as exhausting as physical?


Writing is such a horribly and wonderfully difficult job or hobby. My father was a writer and passed his passion onto his kids. I once asked him, why couldn't you have been a doctor or lawyer, and passed passion that actually makes money onto us! In that vain, my sister once advised my daughter to stay far away from writing, and to instead pursuit something like accounting. I can't say I disagree!


And yet, there's something about storytelling that is so compelling. Perhaps when you have writing in your blood, it pains you more to stay away than to give into it's allure.


As a single mom, I somewhat straddle the two worlds of regular routines and paychecks by day and creator by night - sometimes, when I have energy and bandwidth. And I don't know what's more painful, all the ideas that I haven't had bandwidth to hatch and raise, or the fear of not being able to provide for my children.


For now, I will satisfy myself with moments of brilliance and glory.