April 30, 2009

Writer's Almanac on Hemmingway

For encouragement today, I googled this old quote from Garrison Keillor's daily "The Writer's Almanac". I still like it.
Hemingway had been working on a long novel that he called The Sea Book. It had three sections, which he called "The Sea When Young," "The Sea When Absent," and "The Sea in Being," and it had an epilogue about an old fisherman. He wrote more than eight hundred pages of "The Sea Book" and rewrote them more than a hundred times, but the book still didn't seem finished. Finally, he decided to publish just the epilogue about the old fisherman, which he called The Old Man and the Sea.

It won the Pulitzer Prize, and two years later Hemingway won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He didn't publish another novel in his lifetime.
I certainly won't expect to win any prizes, but it does give me hope that by simply pressing on, at least some part - and hopefully the best part - of what I've been putting together since '05 will eventually find a fruitful final form. (Alliteration unintentional.) It also reminds me of the 10,000 hour rule. Onward, then...

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"If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient observation than to any other reason."

-- Isaac Newton