To be or not to be
by Rick Watson
Feb 03, 2013 | 2107 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rick Watson
Rick Watson
Whenever I get writer’s block, I have routines that I go through to dislodge the blockages non-pharmaceutically.

I flip through photo albums and my souvenir drawer. I look at book titles on my shelves, and when all else fails, I try to find a good quote.

I couldn’t find my book of quotations this morning, and I’d almost tapped the keys off my keyboard trying to come up with a spark when I decided to Google the most famous quotation of all times.

As always when you search for something this broad and subjective, you get millions of hits.

I would have looked through a half million trying to find just the right quote that resonated, but the muse cut me some slack and the first one on the list clicked.

It was a quotation by my old friend Will Shakespeare.

To be, or not to be, that is the question.

I chewed on that for a while before the significance hit me. After a few minutes of contemplation, a light came on and I realized I’d found the idea for my column this week.

When I asked myself, “To be, or not to be, that is the question,” It hit me like a hammer between the eyes.

This is a question that humankind has been asking since they carved pictures on the walls of dank caves back before the Internet.

I switched Will’s words around a little, but I don’t think he would mind (especially since he’s been dead almost 400 years.)

But my question was this: Am I going to be a writer, or not? That is the question. I write columns; I’ve written feature stories and I’ve written books, which means I write, but am I a writer?

Am I as good as I could be if I spent more time studying the craft, reading other great writers, going to seminars, and picking the brains of other writers?

I feel like I’m making progress, but I know deep in my heart I could be doing more to excel at my work.

I’ve known for many years what I wanted to do with my life. It would only take a few moments pouring over my old journal entries and New Years Resolutions to discover that I wanted to play music and write.

But I spent too much time earning a living and not enough time making a life.

Since I left my day job a few years ago, I’ve spent a minimum of three hours writing each day, and some days I spend a lot more time than that.

I’m making a promise to myself to do more.

So my assignment for you today is to ask yourself the hard question.

To be, or not to be, you can fill in the blank:

Am I going to be a good father, or not?

Am I going to do what I promised I'd do, or not?

Am I going to do what it takes to succeed, or not?

Am I going to live life like every day is a gift, or not?

Am I going to live my dream, or not?

Am I going to make this earth a better place, or not?

These are the questions. You should also know, there will be a quiz later.