I found Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet” wedged between a couple of Anne Rice vampire books on my bookshelf while desperately searching for a new book to read. I usually tend to go for the thicker ones, but for some reason this tiny pocket sized book grabbed my attention.
An hour and a half later I was having epiphanies and my entire outlook on EVERYTHING had changed for the better. This tiny book inspired me to be honest with my self and to accept my self for what I am. It’s emo self-help. It’s simple, blunt, poetic and digs deep into a tortured artist’s mind while still inspiring the reader in a beautiful way. Here is a little excerpt from the first letter that sets the tone for the next nine:
There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your while life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.
To read the rest of the letters, click here. I would honestly just recommend buying the little book though. I’ve given away I don’t even know how many copies of this book as a gift to my friends, the friends looking for inspiration and the ones going through some sort of artistic crisis.