Henry David Thoreau’s famous line, “Write when the heat is in you,” fits best on a hot day, and by that, I mean that kind of day when I’m burning up with excitement, ablaze with fury, or sizzling with strong feelings about something.
We don’t always say the wisest thing when we are hot and bothered, be sometimes utter the most authentic things when our words aren’t couched or coached or massaged into neutered prose – because that is the time when being unvarnished seems to have its best value and purpose.
Thoreau’s whole quote is more instructive:
“Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.”
Sometimes we are best to zip-it, bite our tongues and pause our thoughts to another day. With friends and colleagues, that is often the soundest advice – but it brings with it some by-products of resentment at not voicing our feelings, and those turn inward in a slurry of self-doubt and spirit-sucking negativity. And often, without any justification.
I’ve learned to temper my mood and comments – nobody wants to hear from this cranky old man, nor to console him because something didn’t work out, or when reality hit him on the head, or when the world sent him messages; ones of dismissal, disdain, or discarding.
Nobody wants to be swept aside in reality or discarded for irrelevance.
Time for better focus, and time for better saying what needs to be told when those words must be spilled out and spelled out.