Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet offers some of the most eloquent and moving advice ever written for the creative spirit. Rilke was, in fact, writing to Franz Kappus, a 19 year old poet about to enter the German military.
His advice, oft quoted, included gems like this: “You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
Now imagine yourself as an older, wiser writer, writing to the you who is right now attempting to write your book. What would that older wiser presence tell you? What advice would they offer? How could they help you see your situation in a new way?
After you’ve written your letter, take a moment to reflect on what you’ve discovered. Then please share your findings here with the rest of our Write the Damn Book community.