Namibia Namibia

The importance of writing down our goals – Ruth’s goosebump moment

(text video)


Ruth: “I am from Namibia. My goosebump moment was back in high school when one of my mentors mentioned that “a short pencil is better than a long memory”. That stuck with me, it changed my life forever! I began writing things down, and I noticed that whenever I wrote a plan down, or a business idea or just a vision or a goal, I knew that at the end of the day I was going to fulfill it, because I had written it down, and it gave me a sense of direction of what I wanted to do, where I was going or what target I was meeting. So, it is just an encouragement to everybody that is listening: write things down, it is very important. Even if it’s not you that fulfills the things that you’ve written down, the next generation, when they stumble upon what you’ve written, they’ll take it and they’ll run with it. A short pencil is better than a long memory!”

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Why do we write?

We read so as not to feel alone. And we write, paradoxically, only when we are alone. We write to communicate what we love and what we hate, what we believe and what we distrust, and to discover what we think.

Deep down, the reason why we write is to achieve the maximum contact, the least possible mediation. We always write for someone else. In writing we let ourselves be seen, we expose ourselves and become vulnerable.

Why is it important to write things down?

Writing is a very powerful tool because it helps us stay focused. We can write what happens to us to keep that memory, we can write to never repeat that moment, we can write to let off steam. Some people write to transform themselves and others, because the process of writing really changes our brain.

Writing is good for our memory because it fixes the information in our brain. It also helps us to be responsible and work well. If you are ever faced with one of those problems that seem to have no solution, try writing them down. If you only think about how you are going to solve it, you will probably end up more stressed.

The pleasure of writing

Every writer must express big things in small words. And, most importantly, the narrator must invariably retain his or her wonder and childlike eyes.

The latter is extremely essential because literary creation is a journey to the truth, but through the realm of fantasy and lies.

On the other hand, to write well, one must first read a lot because one is worth what one has read, not what one writes. There is an Arab proverb, which states that books, roads and days give man wisdom. Now, with respect to the rigorousness with which a book is written, it should always be constructed with the meticulousness of a clockwork artifice and sold like a plate of fried fish with ceviche.

The novel and the short story are two different genres. As Hemingway said, “In the novel the writer wins on points, but in the short story he wins by knock-out”. I would add that the novel is sailing offshore in an ocean liner, while the short story is going from cove to cove and sticking to the shore. We write to recreate, in our own way, our own life and that of others. In doing so we steal life from death. We also write for the selfish desire to perpetuate our voice.

Readers need the writer to tell them stories to forget or change their own, because literature is nothing more than a beautifully directed dream. Besides, when writing stories, imagination and memory are often confused. Therefore, you must write as you live and remember.

Originality is always demanded from the writer. But the original writer is not the one who imitates no one, but the one whom no one can imitate.

After a dog, a book is probably man’s best friend. As far as the pleasure that a book gives us, Borges always imagined that Paradise would be a library. But it is more than that: a book is the container where the melody of the universe is contained. It also houses the feeling that is surplus to the heart and comes out of our hand.

On the other hand, I write for those who cannot read me: those at the bottom of society, the vulnerable, those who cannot read or cannot afford to buy a book.

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