Monday, October 26, 2015


Sit Down and Write

Thomas Carlyle, letter to Jane Baillie Welsh (December 25, 1822):
Sit down and write—something short—but write and write, tho' you could swear it was the most stupid stuff in Nature, till you fairly get to the end. A week after it is finished it will look far better than you expected. The next you write will go on more smoothly and look better still. So likewise with the third and fourth,—in regular progression,—till you will wonder how such difficulties could ever stop you for a moment. Be not too careful for a subject; take the one you feel most interest in and understand best—some description of manners or passions—some picture of a kind of life you are familiar with, and which looks lovely in your eyes: and for a commencement, why should it give you pause? Take the precept of Horace—proripe in medias res; rush forward and fear nothing.

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