Saturday, February 15, 2014

Golden Advice: Henry David Thoreau and the Mental Path


Hi folks,  I'm off to the Montgomery County Book Festival today, hence the blog will be short and sweet.

My golden advice is inspired by Henry David Thoreau from his journals. He writes: "As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives."

This makes me think how important our mental path is. I mean you think something over and over and it becomes embedded in the essense of you. It rules you. Your thoughts will serve you or slay you. Think about the thoughts that are coming to you again and again. Is there anything in there you need to stop thinking? Do that now. Do you have some good thoughts repeating thoughts? Rejoice. You won't be easily shaken. 

Here's  another thought to chew on -- a book is a mental path.  You travel through the same thoughts over and over -- we writers fondly call it revision. It is  a journey to create a lasting mental path that will serve hopefully as long as the Iliad. Travel the path of your stories again and again. It is the way to discover the lasting path for the generations to come. Don't be discouraged if you have to travel the same path umpteen times to create the essense of what you want. This is the way of things.

I hope the mental path sinks in. I hope you come back next week for more Golden Advice.

Here's the doodle. Carve out a landscape with your words.




Here is a quote for your pocket.

We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn. Henry David Thoreau

6 comments:

Vijaya said...

Oh, Molly, I needed to read this today as next week I am planning to walk that same path ... I hope the polishing phase again. I can tell you already there is some mental resistance.

Have fun at the book festival!!!

MollyMom103 said...

Thanks! I totally understand that feeling of mental resistance, but the smoothing so necessary.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Wonderful words of wisdom! Hope you had a good day at the book festival.

Julie

MollyMom103 said...

Hi Julie, The festival was so much fun. I love to see kids so excited about books. Glad you enjoyed the blog.

Kim Van Sickler said...

Sometimes the mental path becomes tedious, too, but we have to persevere. I think that is one of my biggest weaknesses as a writer: I come to the point where I don't want to travel the same story line anymore, I need a break. I'm always up for a new adventure even though I'm not necessarily finished with my old one.

MollyMom103 said...

Hi Kim, I usually like to have a few paths going at a time. Some are abandoned but most are complete. I hear you about the slog. There is defintely some slog to writing.