You Need a Thneed

When I get the itch that I need something, want to buy something, some unknown something, I remember the thneed. Dr. Seuss, in The Lorax, gives us a story of the indispensible thneed.

Invented by the Once-ler, the thneed is touted as the most marvelous item on the market. It blindly drives all production, drives the inhabitants of the land quite mad. They don't see what their need for thneeds is doing to them.

What is a thneed? A rather shapeless Seuss-ish mass that could be a sweater, or leg warmers, or arm warmers, or a turtleneck for a giraffe. Truth is, nobody really needs a thneed.

What does this have to do with writing? Much, inasmuch as it has to do with life. We often get sidetracked by the things we think we need, when it's our own thinking that is creating our destruction. In order to write unfettered, undistracted, one truly needs time to do so. What's one of the biggest killers of time? Materialism. The need for more thneeds. Which means striving at all kinds of "work" endeavors to buy things that are needed little more than thneeds.

So. Heedlessly practice thneedlessness. That's all I'm gonna say.


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