Tag Archives: writer’s inspiration

Freelance Writing Wisdom From Feudal Japan

hagakure.jpgMany people will think I’ve gone completely around the bend by recommending Hagakure as a manual for freelance writers, but try reading this with your career firmly in mind. You’ll find plenty of inspiration and practical advice. Consider these quotes:

“In the words of the ancients, one should make his decisions within the space of seven breaths. Lord Takanobu said: If discrimination is long, it will spoil. Lord Naoshige said: When matters are done leisurely, seven out of ten will turn out badly. A warrior is a person who does things quickly.”

“Master Yagyu once remarked: I do not know the way to defeat others, but the way to defeat myself.”

“According to Master lttei, even a poor penman will become substantial in the art of calligraphy if he studies by imitating a good model and puts forth effort. A retainer should be able to become substantial too, if he takes a good retainer as his model.”

Sure, some of it is a stretch when it comes to the modern day lifestyle of a freelance writer, but there’s plenty to ponder here. You can apply it to being mindful of well-crafted query letters, carefully checked final drafts and keeping your determination in the face of many rejections. Hagakure was written in the early 1700s by Yamamoto Tsunetomo. It was only read by a select few in the early years after its publication, but it has endured. And yes, other writers have found much inspiration in these pages–Yukio Mishima, one of Japan’s most famous authors, was a devoted reader of Hagakure. It’s a great book even if it does sometimes bewilder 21st century minds.

Buy Hagakure for $13.57