Saturday, September 27, 2008

Writing a Book with Blinks

I found the story of French author Jean-Dominique Bauby incredibly inspiring. And horrifying. But far more inspiring.

In 1995, when he was the highly successful editor of Elle magazine in Paris, Bauby suffered a stroke. When he awoke 20 days later, he couldn't move or speak. Yet his mind was still active and alert. The condition is known as Locked-In Syndrome.

Bauby could only blink one eye, his left. And that's how he communicated to those around him, eventually completing a book that took two years to write, er, blink, letter by letter, word by word, page by page, to a scribe. Read about it here, it's fascinating:

I must read Bauby's book now. Imagine having that kind of drive, that strong of a need to be creative. You can't speak or move, but you must create. That's incredible to me. Here I am with full use of my body, nary a hangnail or a split end. Yet it's difficult, nay, almost impossible, to get my ass out of bed in the morning so I can write for a half an hour before I get ready for work.

"There is so much to do," Bauby wrote. "You can wander off in space or in time, set out for Tierra del Fuego or for King Midas's court. You can visit the woman you love, slide down beside her and stroke her still sleeping face. You can build castles in Spain, steal the Golden Fleece, discover Atlantis, realize your childhood dreams and adult ambitions."

Fuck inertia. Screw coasting. If Bauby can do it, so can you. So can I.

Here's to realizing your dreams, no matter what.

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