Media Shower writer Diana Evans is a creative non-fiction writer who specializes in the human condition and how we connect together through art, faith, and social media. You can follow her on Twitter.
I first met Ernest Hemingway when I was 16 years old; I was a homeschooled junior in high school participating in a co-op literature class, or ‘book group’. We were assigned to read The Old Man and the Sea and after reading the subject matter on the book jacket, I begrudgingly began, convinced that this long-ago dead man would be unable to say anything that could relate to me.
Then I promptly devoured the book in two sittings.
It was the first time I read a book where the author’s voice almost sounded like the one in my own head, and the picture that the words created was clearer than any other writing had ever been. I had found my maestro: I knew from the first chapter that he was the one for me. It was in the middle of reading A Farewell to Arms my senior year that I decided to dedicate my final English project to Hemingway, if only to have an excuse to read books about the man who had inspired me to pursue my dream of being a writer.
Needless to say, he’s been my main man ever since.
When I think of what the past ten years with Hemingway have taught me about writing, and the pursuit of creating great content, I always return to my favorite quote from my favorite of his books, A Moveable Feast; it is what he said to himself when he hit a wall with his writing.
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
In my own writing and pursuit of what it takes to create great content, I keep this phrase close; it is my grounding anchor. When I’m writing, it is so very easy to get lost in my own head, overwhelmed with the daunting task of creating something worthwhile. This ‘writing fever’ causes me to pace, pull on my hair, and sweat dramatically from trying to make simple words into great content.
But just when I think I’ve hit the limit, there was Hemingway, worldly, wise, willful Hemingway, with his few words and great works, saying, “Just one true sentence. The truest one you know,” asking you to trust him that the rest will come. Because one sentence will lead to another, which will lead to another, and then suddenly you are sitting in front of a collection of greatness that has come from your own creative hard drive. It is there, in the world, and ready to do what you ask of it.
Hemingway wrote for the masses; he is known as one of the greatest creators of content of our age. He made it simple, he made it precise, and he made it unforgettable; his legacy stands testament to that. I cannot think of a better example than Hemingway when it comes to creating great content, which is why his wisdom and his words are always in the forefront of my own creative process.
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