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Posts tagged ‘Jorge Luis Borges’

How to use misfortune to make your writing stronger

“A writer, or any man, must believe that whatever happens to him is an instrument; everything has been given for an end. This is even stronger in the case of the artist. Everything that happens, including humiliations, embarrassments, misfortunes, all has been given like clay, like material for one’s art….Those things are given to us to transform, so that we may make from the miserable circumstances of our lives things that are eternal, or aspire to be so. If a blind man thinks this way, he is saved. Blindness is a gift.” –Jorge Luis Borges

I don’t have many “off” days. What I mean is, I’m pretty good at handling life’s little surprises. I wasn’t always so cool and collected. I used to obsess and worry and play the repetitive mind-game as well as the next person. But over the years, I worked hard at letting all that go. I was motivated to change.

I knew I was making progress the year my son turned 13. It was the morning after Halloween. I opened the front door to pick up the newspaper, when I saw it—somebody, in the middle of the night, had thrown a gigantic pumpkin at my brand new car. The car’s rear end was demolished, the trunk caved in, and my deductible was $1,000 (which I didn’t have at the time because I’d just purchased the new car). I was stunned. I felt as if somebody had sucked up all the air in the world. Read more