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For the uninitiated, the practice of “hackintoshing” involves installing Apple’s Mac OS X onto unsupported hardware (i.e. non-Apple branded equipment, otherwise known as “PCs”).

I’ve heard the deeper you delve into hackintoshing, the more it dawns on you that it’s very much akin to writing.

What do I mean?

1) It’s not for the faint of heart. Seriously–this is no regular install. It is a process fraught with trial and error, and altogether too easily bungled. Just when you think you have all your ducks in a row, things take an unexpected turn.

2) When those unexpected turns happen, it’s back to the drawing board. Which in the case of hackintoshing means starting over; similarly for writing, it means junking months–or perhaps years–of work, when the story isn’t working. Or when it goes to an unforeseen place (because it needs to) that’s better than what we planned.

3) Despite the best laid plans, things will go awry. Despite having all the tools in place, sometimes we just need to walk away–move onto something new. Sometimes things just don’t work out.

4) Other times, persistence pays. Just when we’re about ready to pull the plug, that A-ha! moment arrives. And things fall into place. This is just as true of writing as it is of hackintoshing.

5) When inspiration is lacking, we are often driven to the furthest corners of the Internet in search of that one right thing that makes the difference. Just as there are thousands of different makes and models of PCs, there are all manner of guides for the hackintosher. Likewise with writing, what inspires you may not inspire me. But you’ll know it when you see it. And it will make all the difference.

I know the title indicates five similarities, but I would be derelict without adding another:

6) As with writing, hackintoshing isn’t done in a vacuum. Oh, certainly on the surface both appear to be be solo activities, but nothing is further from the truth: we stand on the shoulders of those who’ve gone before us, gleaning their wisdom, inspired by their example. We press on because our forebears pressed on. We know we can because they could, and did.

Just as those who come after us will be inspired by our example.

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14, ESV).

Talk about your writing failures, and success, in the comments, please. How have you had to restart? What did it feel like when that breakthrough came?

A note on this post: This is not a technology blog, and as such it’s not my purpose to encourage hackintoshing. My purpose was simply to take two difficult, though seemingly disparate, things, and show the similarities. The general principles here apply across the broad spectrum we call “life.” We can do hard things, but we’re never really doing them alone.

There are a number of things knocking around in my grey space today, and what finally bubbled to the surface was this:

“Chad’s 10 Random Rules of Writing”

1) Love the language–it matters. It matters a great deal; even so:

2) Keep it simple–less is more. It is often better to imply a thing than to just come right out and say it; despite this:

3) Be direct, and:

4) Write what you know, but even so:

5) Don’t make experience a chain that constrains your imagination–let it fly free, and:

6) Follow your folly, but remember:

7) “Life is not a support system for art; it’s the other way around.” –Stephen King, On Writing

8) Have a support system in place, and try to always:

9) Write in the same space; lastly:

10) Know where, when, and how to throw the rules out the window. Like this:

11)

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How about you? What are some writing rules you live by?

>All art–whether written, spoken, painted, acted–is borne of a desire to create. To make something out of, essentially, nothing. Why do we creative types do this? What is our motivation?

We do it for ourselves. We do it because we have to. We create for an audience of one. (In this way, how more like God can we be? Who also created for an audience of one: Himself).

Don’t get me wrong: sharing our work is an eventual part of the process, but it can’t be the primary motivation. The artist must work for the art’s sake–work for the work’s sake–first.

It must be about challenging oneself to make the absolute best art one possibly can, else where is the “artistic integrity?”

Take, for instance, this blog: do I write for you, or for me? I write for me–because I have to. I’m compelled to exercise that part of my brain. I’m creating my art on my terms in a way that makes sense to me. I’m creating for an audience of one.

It’s not about comments, or money, but rather about love. Oh, there’s nothing wrong with being paid for our work, but if that’s the primary motivation, we’re monkeys. Love the work–the rest will take care of itself.

Trust me on this.

How about you? Who do you create for?