When it comes to sitting down and putting your words to paper, procrastination can creep in and take you away from what is really important. If you aren’t writing then you aren’t perfecting your craft. Over at Writer Unboxed the art of writing and perfecting your gift are better explained. As always this is useful information for writers and hopefully you will become inspired to write and then write some more.
If you’re a writer, you write. At the end of the day, nothing else matters. You can be the worst writer in the world, spewing drivel onto the page every day, but if you do it every day,eventually it will cease being drivel, or at least evolve into drivel of a finer sort. This happens automatically, because if you write you always improve. Alas, the opposite is also true. If you don’t write, you definitely won’t improve.
So that would seem to leave us with a pretty clear choice, wouldn’t it? Write, and improve; or don’t write, and don’t improve.
Why is it not that simple?
Because the forces of evil are arrayed against the desire to write. And the biggest evil of all is the need to be good. Burdened by the unrealistic expectation of all quality all the time, we often find that we just can’t write at all.
But in the practice of writing, quality is not the major concern. In the practice of writing, the only thing that matters is putting words on the page. In the practice of writing, the only fear is the fear of giving up the practice. In the practice of writing there is joy, because the practice of the practice is a goal you can achieve, and a triumph you can relish, every single day.
So how does one practice practice? How can we constantly be closing the gap between the writer’s life we have and the writer’s life we want? Here are some strategies and tactics you can try:
- PRACTICE PATIENCE. Some days you get a ton done. Some days you don’t. You’ll tolerate the bad days better if you just let yourself off the hook. Stress and pressure are not conducive to good writing practice, so go easy on yourself. Life is long. You do have time.
- PRACTICE IMPATIENCE. If yesterday was a slack day, make damn sure that today isn’t. Yes, it’s okay to blow off work, but not every day, not if you’re serious about your craft. Let yourself off the hook, sure, but put yourself back on it, too. Demand your own active participation in your active practice of writing.
- SET APPROPRIATE GOALS. Don’t imagine that you’re going to write a whole script before breakfast. Do imagine that you’re going to do a reasonable amount of work in a reasonable amount of time. Inappropriately large goals kill will and crush productivity. Appropriately sized goals, on the other hand, offer the immediate reward of a job, well, done.
- SHOW YOUR WORK. Be fearless in this. Recognize that rejection is a natural part of the practice of writing. You don’t have to like it, but you do have to accept it. The alternative is a trunk full of stuff that no one sees till you’re dead. And then no one sees ever, because who, really, wants to wade through the stuff in your trunk?
- SERVE THE WORK. When you’re getting feedback, be it positive or negative, try to think less about how that feedback makes you feel and more about how you can use it to improve the work. Be humble in service of the work. Save your ego for the award ceremony.
- KEEP GIVING THEM YOU UNTIL YOU IS WHAT THEY WANT. The best part of your writing is the part that’s unique to you. Your stories. Your style. Your sensibilities. Your themes. Your way with words. Keep giving them you, even if they keep rejecting you. Eventually – I can’t say when and I can’t promise soon – your quality will convince them that you is what they want. Read more here.