Pages

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Even if you average just half a page a day, after five or ten years it adds up

On a vacation early in the course of writing this book, I read a Western novel by the late Louis L’Amour. I don’t remember the story itself, but one brief portion of the novel has stood out in my mind ever since and was a significant help to me in the rest of my writing. It was about the journey of pioneers traveling west in covered wagons, and described how on some days they would make so little progress that after a whole day’s march, they could still see the remains of their campfires of the night before. The important thing to those pioneers, L’Amour stressed, was that each day they did make some progress—they always finished the day further west than they began it. This became an inspiration to me on all those days when the end result of many hours of work was that I had gotten only a few paragraphs beyond where I had finished the night before. At those times, I contented myself with the knowledge that at least I was that many paragraphs further ahead and that I was still moving “west,” so to speak. In retrospect, I think of things somewhat more humorously, and say to myself, “Even if you average just half a page a day, after five or ten years it adds up.”

~ George Reisman in Preface to Capitalism

No comments: