The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Sit. Create. Become.


Someone once asked Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. “I write only when inspiration strikes,” he replied. “Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”… Maugham reckoned another, deeper truth: that by performing the mundane physical act of sitting down and starting to work, he set in motion a mysterious but infallible sequence of events that would produce inspiration, as surely as if the goddess had synchronized her watch with his.

–Steven Pressfield. The War of Art.

(A book I can highly, highly recommend for writers, artists, and everyone about to start budgeting, working out, or changing their life.)

7 comments on “Sit. Create. Become.

  1. Andy C. Smith
    October 3, 2012

    Nice quote. I’ve never heard of the book but will have to check it out. I almost spit green tea on my monitor when I read the part about inspiration striking at nine o’clock sharp. It was unexpected and it made me laugh. Cheers.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      October 3, 2012

      Maugham never fails to delight me. Pressfield knocked my socks off. I hope you do hunt the book down. It’s definitely worth the time.

  2. richhell
    October 4, 2012

    Oh, great. Another book I now feel compelled to add to my high and leaning To Be Read pile of books. 😉

    The “9 o’clock sharp” line makes me think about an essay on writing called “The Talent of the Room.” It’s by Michael Ventura. You can find it here.

    Writing is something you do alone in a room.

    Before any issues of style, content or form can be addressed, the fundamental questions are: How long can you stay in that room? How many hours a day? How do you behave in that room? How often can you go back to it? How much fear (and, for that matter, how much elation) can you endure by yourself? How many years — how many years — can you remain alone in a room?

    • Clanmother
      October 4, 2012

      Profoundly challenging – how long can you remain alone in a room? Something to think about.

  3. Clanmother
    October 4, 2012

    As always – a great post!!! Something to think about….

  4. elkee
    January 13, 2014

    Need to check this book out. I’m the queen of writer’s block.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      January 14, 2014

      It’s been extremely helpful for me, and I regularly give it to my students and writer friends.
      May the blocks fall away! 🙂

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