Hello dear readers and fellow writers and welcome to Writer’s Quote Wednesday, a weekly event hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading. Each week bloggers share their favorite quotes to motivate and inspire one another to keep writing and working toward our goals. My contribution this week is from the Canadian-American actor, author, and advocate, Michael J. Fox.
Born Michael Andrew Fox on June 9, 1961, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to Phyllis, an actress/payroll clerk, and William Fox, a police officer and Canadian Forces member. The family traveled a lot during his childhood due to his father’s career. At age 15, starred in the Canadian television series Leo and Me produced by the CBC, and in 1979, at age 18, he moved to Los Angeles to further his acting career.
Fox was discovered by producer Ronald Shedlo and made his American television debut in the television film Letters from Frank, credited under the name “Michael Fox”. He intended to continue to use the name, but when he registered with the Screen Actors Guild the name Michael Fox was already taken, he needed to come up with a different name. He didn’t like the sound of “Michael A. Fox” and he also didn’t like the sound of “Andrew” or “Andy,” so he decided to adopt a new middle initial and settled on “J”, as a homage to actor Michael J. Pollard.
Most people know him as Marty McFly from the Back to the Future trilogy (1985–1990), or as Alex P. Keaton from Family Ties (1982–1989), or as Mike Flaherty from Spin City (1996–2000). He also starred in Doc Hollywood and Secret of My Succe$s and provided the lead voices in Disney’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire and in the film Stuart Little and its sequel. He as won countless awards for these, and other roles, and is one of the most recognizable actors of our time.
Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991 and disclosed his condition to the public in 1998. As the symptoms of his disease worsened, he retired from full-time acting in 2000.
Since then he has written three books: Lucky Man, “a highly personal, gorgeously written account of what it’s like to be a 30-year-old man who is told he has an 80-year-old’s disease”, Always Looking Up, “about the hard-won perspective that helped him see challenges as opportunities”, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future…, in which “Michael draws on his own life experiences to make a case that real learning happens when ‘life goes skidding sideways'”.
A creative mess is better than tidy idleness.
— Michael J. Fox
I am a chronic procrastinator, always have been, always will be. I know this about myself and I work hard to curb the bad habit the best I can. I’ve learned to keep a to-do list always in front of me, so I don’t lose track of what needs to get done. I’ve made a /Now page so I don’t lose track of my big projects. I’ve got my “creativity room” set up with a desk and a drafting table, and chairs and drawers with different pens, pencils, brushes, and markers.
And yet, with all that, I walk into that room and try to get some work done and I am stuck. I am lost and I am afraid so I do nothing.
All my organizing and planning are nothing but tidy idleness, a new way to procrastinate.
When I realized this I felt so stupid! I thought I was doing the right things but I only had half the equation. I had to do the hard work and no amount of organizing or pretty supplies was going to change that, so I made a new plan. No more organizing, planning, or preparing. I have to get down to the grueling, lonely work of it all.
That is what 2016 is going to be about.
Featured image: Painty Feet by Nicki Varkevisser