“Writing is work. It’s also gambling. You don’t get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but essentially you’re on your own. Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine.”
I don’t think I’d mess with her. ;->
And geeeez, talk about someone who is not just an accomplished writer, but an accomplished person…
Meanwhile, I love what Grammarly says about her wording:
Austin Kleon encourages us to be attentive and diligent in writing down all our thoughts and sift through them for later exploration.
How about ratcheting up your powers of attentiveness?
Here are a few ideas from Cris Freese in this Writer’s Digest article.
Reminder: Simply restricting one or more of the five senses will heighten the others. [Try closing your eyes while eating. You will most likely hear your chewing more distinctly and I’ve found more flavors are pronounced. But hey, maybe that’s just me. But really, try it.]
However, if you prefer someone who’s a bit more locked in…
Take a look at this post from daily writing tips.com
Or…be your own writing coach.
Here’s an interesting look at this approach.
Maybe you took Austin Kleon’s 30-Day Challenge. And you nailed it.
And then that question: What’s next?
Consider this thought from Ian Svenonius, Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ‘n’ Roll Group:
You will never know exactly what you must do, it will never be enough… no matter what change you achieve, you will most likely see no dividend from it. And even after you have achieved greatness, the [tiny number of people] who even noticed will ask, ‘What next?’” **
And so the question: What next?
This is not to dismiss what you might have accomplished in the last month…or year…or decade. Or to evoke dissatisfaction.
Instead, use the question as a prod to pursue new projects, skills, friends.
Or maybe I’m just nudging myself in that direction.
Either way, have an adventurous–and fulfilling–2018.
**got Svenonius quote from a blog post by Austin Kleon
Note: The link for Svenonius’s book is an affiliate link. It doesn’t raise the price on the book, but it will bring me a very small amount of money.
Who can blame you?
Some folks post content about setting goals, about finishing, establishing habits.
And those same shmucks then post suggestions to break habits, to mix things up. And they glorify those times when they procrastinate on their writing.
Who are these people and why are they allowed to publish this drivel? It has to stop!
In the meantime, just to add to the confusion, take a look at what Susie Orman Schnall says in Writer’s Digest about balancing work and life. Pay particular attention to tip #4.
Your sacred habits?
Behold the thrill of breaking one.**
Change things up.
Write a letter to the editor.
Write a letter to an editor.
Set the timer for twenty minutes. Race against the clock and generate as many words as you can. [If you need to cheat, list a few topics at the top of the document/sheet of paper, and then set the timer.]
Of course, none of these ideas will send you hurtling through the snow like Truffle here.
Maybe that comes next.
My camera will be ready.
** Those goals you set days ago? They’re not going anywhere. Neither is your discipline.
Every day, you head straight to work.
Why don’t you head straight to play instead?
Maybe–armed with your journal and a favorite writing book–a side trip to a quiet coffee shop?
Not a bad way to start the day–as a writer, not as a colleague working on the Herlihy account.
Hey, we all need them.
“I’d be writing but…
- “Geeeez, that Hallmark movie’s Nielsen Ratings need me.”
- “Right now, I’m getting more concrete results from cleaning the garage than rewriting that last chapter.”
- “I just have to call my friend back east, even though she hasn’t acknowledged my existence in the last eighteen and a half months.”
Okay, there you go. But you can only use them once. And then it’s back to work.
Need a ‘few’ others?
Tell me your favorites you’ve used [overused?] through the years.
With help from Seth Godin.
One kind of practice fits the traditional definition. We repeat processes until we improve. Shooting baskets, playing ‘Greensleeves’, making the perfect sunnyside-up egg.
“The other kind of practice is more valuable but far more rare.”
“This is the practice of failure. Of trying on one point of view after another until you find one that works. Of creating original work that doesn’t succeed until it does. Of writing, oration and higher-level math in search of an elusive outcome, even a truth, one that might not even be there…We become original through practice.”
Here’s hoping you’re making time for both types of practice.