Tag Archives | motivation

What it Takes to Be a Writer: Part One

asok_project365_mydesk_1059218_hWherein I talk about what it takes to be a writer, in my humble opinion, anyway.  To finish a book project, or even an article or short story.  To get the book out in the world, either into the hands of an agent and editor, or publish it yourself, which is a whole other enterprise. To hit the bestseller list. To rinse and repeat, which you’re going to need to do to build a career as a writer. What it takes to accomplish whatever your dream is.

Fresh off teaching a recent workshop in France, I’ve been pondering this.  Working with writers, listening to their hopes and frustrations opens my eyes over and over again, because their concerns echo mine in my own writing practice.  We are all gloriously different, right? And, at heart, we are also all very much alike.  To that end, here are two arenas in which many frustrations lie:

  1. Mindset
  2. Butt in chair

Let’s look at mindset,  otherwise known as the way you think, first.  It is easy to groan about this, to hold up your hands and say “Don’t tell me I am what I think!” But the cold, hard truth of the matter is that it’s true. If you think you can do it, you will be able to. But if you don’t think you can, you won’t. Sigh. You really do need to master your mindset about your writing.

But here’s a lot of the reason why—because after thinking about it, you need to do it. I know. Duh. But if you’re busy telling yourself that you can’t do it, you won’t. It’ll be too much pressure. You’ll get bored and wander away, take up archery or long-distance swimming or bird-watching.  Thoughts wear grooves in your brain and if you keep thinking you can’t, then your brain will believe you. And you won’t take time to write, because, well, you’re convinced you can’t. Or that you’re a bad writer. Or that the odds are stacked against you.

I follow a young woman named Jennifer Blanchard.  She is always ranting fervently about mindset and how important it is, how one must write down their goals every day, or at least re-read their goals. Etc., etc.  Part of me loves this stuff. Loves it. And part of me—the part that actually has to take the action—rolls my eyes at it.  But the thing is, everything she says about mindset is true.  You gotta get your brain in the right place to be a writer.  And that means doing whatever it takes, be that rereading your goals every day or monitoring those pesky negative thoughts.

Most of all it means you have to believe you can do it. Because if you don’t believe, you won’t make the time for it.  You’ll read knitting blogs (like I do when I get blocked), instead. Or you’ll decide the kitchen floor needs mopping. Or the cat’s nails need trimming. And the thing is—you won’t even realize why you’re indulging in these procrastination activities. You’ll convince yourself that it’s because there’s that spot of dirt, right there on the floor where everyone can see it.  Or that you absolutely must read that blog because you have to figure out where you went wrong on the sweater you’re knitting.  Or that the cat pulled up a thread on your gorgeous slipcover. Like that.

What’s the antidote to this? In truth, a lot of it is in taking action, which I’ll get to in a moment. Because the more you write, the easier it becomes and the easier it becomes, the more you’ll believe you can do it. Yeah, there is definitely an endless loop going on here.  But here are a couple other hints about mindset:

  1. Visualization has scientifically been proven to help. Not visualizing the moment you stand at the podium and accept your Nobel Prize for Literature, but visualizing yourself actually sitting at the computer writing. Thinking about how it feels as the words flow and your fingers range across the page.

Here’s an article that gives a good rundown on how to do it, and here’s one from Psychology Today on its benefits.

  1. Meditation and positive thinking. Activities that go hand in hand with visualization are meditation (you knew I was going there) because it quiets the damn monkeys in the brain enough to allow you to think positive thoughts about your writing, and affirmations. Yeah, I know. Dopey. I get it. But you can use them in the most casual of ways, as in when you’re thinking how you just can’t seem to get the scene right instead of berating yourself for being an idiot who can’t write, turn it around and tell yourself you know the story and you can figure out the scene. Just tell yourself that the rest of the day. C’mon, you’re a storyteller, right? So tell yourself a positive story. That’s all an affirmation is, in truth. You’re going to be telling yourself something all day anyway, it might as well be something positive.

As for meditation, just try it. Really. It is ten or fifteen minutes out of your day, and if it helps you become a better writer, isn’t that time well spent? I highly recommend downloading the Insight Timerfor your phone and using it. You can set interval bells so that the fifteen minutes doesn’t seem to stretch to fifteen hours, and there’s all kinds of cool ambient sounds you can meditate to, as well as a selection of guided meditations to try. Plus, it’s like social media for meditators. You can create a profile and interact with others all over the world.

Okay, so, alas, one cannot sit in one’s recliner and meditate and visualize and think positive thoughts all day and become a writer.  Would that we could. So I’ll discuss part two of the topic of what it takes in a blog post slated for Wednesday.

Until then, happy mind-setting. Or meditating. Or whatever.

And do tell what you think it takes to be a writer.

2

The Tyranny of Word Count

Every morning on my calendar I note how many words I’ve written (my main fiction writing time is early in the morning).  My goal is 1500-2000 words a day, which is a nice pace for me. If I’m on, I can hit 2K easily, but on off days, 500 words is a stretch.  Counting words is a great way to remind yourself of how much you’ve accomplished, and of course you know that what you focus on, grows. (I imagine myself staring at a page of words, willing it to multiply like the dandelions on our front yard.)

And its not just the daily word count that we focus on, but we think about it in other ways as well.  We fret and stew about how many words a book should be.  How long is a novella? How long is a short story? If I go over those standard word counts wills something bad happen? And so on and so forth.

And so even though I love checking in on my daily word count notations, I sometimes think they can become a bit tyrannical. And result in bad habits. Tell me I’m not the only one who:

  1. Writes complicated sentences–because they entail more words.
  2. Use two words when one will do. Because, word count.
  3. Catch myself repeating something and then letting it stand. Because, you know why, word count.
  4. Endures excruciating moments when I’m straining for just 100 more words to meet my quota.

Okay, okay, I am writing raw as coal-before-it-becomes-a-diamond drafts.  And I know that the value of rewriting is inestimable.  But still, sometimes I wonder if there’s a better way to keep track of it all, or if I really do need to keep track? To answer that last question first, when I’m writing regularly, I think it’s important to have metrics.  The novelist J.T. Ellison says that we must “touch our story, think about it” on a regular basis, and I agree. (Regular basis=daily.)  Keeping a word count reminds you of the importance of this.  When I wring my hands and tell myself I’m not much of a writer, all I have to do is flip open my planner and there it is, ink black and white (well, okay, color from gel pens), proof that if nothing else I do get up and throw words at the page regularly. And if there are lots of blank days with no word counts listed, I am reminded that I’m slacking.

But is there a better way to keep track? I suppose I could write to the end of whatever scene I’m working on and list how many scenes or chapters I’ve completed.  But often when I end my writing session at the close of a scene, I close myself off as well. (Hemingway famously ended his writing sessions in the middle of a sentence.)  And of course, there is rating yourself by time as well.  If you’ve sat at your computer for two hours, you’ve done your job.  Except one could easily sit at said computer for two hours and not write a word.  I know, I’ve done it I had a friend who did it.

I dunno. Maybe you can tell me a better way?

The truth is I’m the worst goal setter in the world.  The standard advice to block out time for writing on my calendar doesn’t work for me, because I rebel against myself.  As in, look at my calendar and say, meh, don’t feel like doing that today. This is clearly a variation of the childhood refrain, “I’m doing it because I want to and not because you tell me to.” Yep, childish as all get-out, not to mention counter productive.  I actually love to set elaborate goals, goals that even the most vigorous Type A personality could never meet.

And for some unknown reason, writing to word count, tyrannical as the process is, works for me. It is the only thing I’ve found that keeps me productive on a regular basis.  And so on bad days I groan and strain and complain until I reach at least 1,000 words and on good days I pat myself on the back when I easily sail past 2K.

Nobody said being a writer was easy. (And if it was, we’d be bored.)

What metrics do you use to keep track of your progress?

And by the way, for the truly nutty among you, my friend Milli Thornton runs 10K Days for writers every month, twice a month. There’s one coming up tomorrow (July 20) that I’m participating in, and one this Saturday as well.

Happy writing!

 

10

How To Get Your Writing Done

numbers_text_texture_225115_l (1)So, you have a book…or an article…or a story that you’d like to write. (Right? Because otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.)  And you need to get that book finished, that story done.  How to accomplish such a thing?  How to make room in your schedule to get it written?

To my mind, there are two ways to get your writing done, and writers fall naturally into either group, because of need or temperament.  I have strong opinions on which works best. But if there’s anything I’ve learned in fifteen years of teaching writing and nine years of blogging, it’s that there’s not one way that works for every writer. The best I can do is offer options and opinions and let you figure it out for yourself.

The first group, and I count myself among them, are those writers who prefer to write every day, or as close to it as possible. The second group write in great chunks of time as their schedule allows. Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Daily Writing

If you’re at all like me, you prefer this schedule.  Aiming for writing every day means you’ll hit at least five days of the week, right?  This is the standard advice that most of us preach, I think with good reason.  Such as:

Benefits

–This schedule is the best way to get and maintain momentum on a project. If you’re writing every day, you watch your word count grow regularly, which is hugely encouraging.

–Your story stays in your head.  I don’t know about you, but my brain is so full of random bits I’ve picked up lord knows where that I lose the train of story very easily. If I’m writing every day, I don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time I sit down to write. This story is right there, waiting for me.

–You don’t even have to write a lot to pile up the pages.  If you manage to eke out three pages a day, that’s 90 pages—a third of a novel—at the end of a month.

–Your writing will become more facile. The more you write, the easier it is. Writing is like anything else: the more you do it, the more adept you become at it. And if you’re writing every day, you’ll hone your skills quickly.

–You will learn more about writing more quickly. As above, the more you write the more you realize how much you don’t know—and what you need to learn. Writing every day helps you learn it.

–There’s magic in making a daily commitment. There just is.  You begin to take yourself, and your writing, much more seriously.

Detriments

 –You may be tempted to write a lot of crap just to meet your word count. Though there are benefits to writing fast (like getting the damn draft done already) I’ve written drafts that are so terrible I’m not quite sure what to do with them.

 –It can be difficult to fit daily writing sessions into your schedule.  I’m with you on this one.  I find that if I don’t write first thing in the morning, doing the most important thing first, it often simply doesn’t get done.

–If you miss a day or two, you might get discouraged.  And discouragement can so very easily lead to not writing.  And then you feel like a failure.

Chunk Writing

You’re a busy CEO and Mom of five. In your spare time you run marathons. But, you’ve got a story inside you that you’re developing into a novel.  So once a month you find a babysitter and spend the day writing.  With luck, you’ll bang out a chapter or two.

Benefits

–This kind of writing schedule can be easier to fit into your schedule.  Those who simply don’t have minutes to spare in their day often have more luck taking an afternoon off, or trading babysitting with a friend in order to nab some writing time.

–The breaks between writing times can clear your brain.  I do find that sometimes my brain gets overloaded when I’m on a writing-every-day schedule, and then it shuts down.  Giving yourself regular breaks can keep your writing brain refreshed.

–Writing less often takes less mental energy. And after a busy day at work, or chasing two-year-olds, mental energy can be in short supply.

–You don’t have to get up early (or stay up late) to fit your writing in.  No regular time sacrifices are needed!

–You may enjoy it more.  If you write for the sheer love of it, forcing yourself to a rigid daily schedule may make you start to hate it.

Drawbacks

–It is really easy to get off track.  If you haven’t worked on the story for a while, you may lose your enthusiasm for it and then it is really easy to find excuses not to spend Saturday writing after all.

–It is much harder to keep track of the story.  Your brain is full of the soccer games and swimming lessons of your twenty children—how are you going to maintain its attention to story as wait a month (or a week or whatever) between writing sessions?

–You’ll waste time getting up to speed.  You’ll likely have to reread your story to remember exactly where you left off at your last writing session.  And that is going to take a chunk of your precious time.

–It is easier to get discouraged.  Hit a writing snag when you’re writing every day and it is not such a big deal.  But if you reach a roadblock—what scene should come next?—while writing in chunks you may waste your entire session trying to figure it out.

So those are my thoughts on the topic.  But here’s the bottom line: figure out what works for you and then do it. If you fancy yourself a daily writer but you’re not doing it, experiment with chunk writing. And vice versa.

What’s your writing schedule? Come on over to the blog and share in the comments.

Photo by maio5.

 

2

How To Cheat on Your Writing Without Getting Caught

knit_yarn_knitting_220265_lAre you an adulterer when it comes to creativity?

I am.  Here’s a brief list of some of the creative arenas I sometimes dabble in (dabble being the key word): knitting, stitching, painting, art journaling, collage, weaving, mosaic.

Okay, nix on the mosaic. Somewhere in this house I have a bunch of ceramic shards but God only knows where they might be. But I like the idea of it.  As for the other things on the list, the activity I do with regularity is knitting, and beyond that it is a once in a blue moon thing to find me painting or collaging.

When I do these things, I love them. And set me up on Ravelry, a website for knitters and crocheters, and I can waste hours looking around.  I love to dream big.  But how many actual knitting projects do I get done each year? Oh, maybe one or two if I’m lucky.

I think this is because I sometimes feel guilty pursuing any creative art besides writing.  For some reason, I often feel I should be pouring every ounce of my creativity into writing and writing alone. And yet the people I admire the most are those who excel in one creative area, yet happily continue to ply other crafts.

What about you? Maybe you love photography, or cooking, or creating model train layouts. Or taking a foreign language. Or any number of creative activities. But how often do you stop yourself from taking time for them, thinking instead, I need to go write. When you do take time for a hobby do you look over your shoulder, terrified your writing is going to discover you at work on, gasp, something else?

One of the things I loved most about The Artist’s Way from Julia Cameron  is that she actively encourages creatives to indulge in all sorts of hobbies.  (And by the way, if you haven’t read that book in a while, consider pulling it off your shelf. I was just paging through it, remembering how wonderful and seminal a volume it is.)

So herewith is my list of my you should be a creative adulterer:

Because doing so actually fills the well from which we draw to write.  In the same vein as taking an Artist’s Date, giving yourself time to doodle or paint or draw a garden plan fills up your inner well and gives you more energy to write.

Because it will give your poor brain a break.  If yours is anything like mine, it needs one once in a while. When I’m trying to do too much I end up in a massively confused state and then I don’t get anything done.

Because a creative hobby is intentional rest.  We so easily succumb to what Jennifer Loudon  calls shadow comforts.  We don’t take time to read the book that’s been on our nightstand for a month, but we’ll happily spend half-an-hour on the internet. The first choice would result in a relaxing mental break, while the second is a bona-fide shadow comfort.  For an absolutely brilliant article on this concept, click here.

Because turning your writing into a should is a sure way to make you hate it. And when you are not allowing yourself any other kind of relaxation or fun besides writing, sure enough you’re turning it into a should.  Hey, this craft is hard—we might as well enjoy it, right?

Because good ole fashioned play is something we need more of in our lives. Studies have shown that play has great benefits for adults, including, stress relief, improved brain function, improved relationships and increased energy.  You can read more here.

So come on, take a break for your writing and indulge in that favorite hobby of yours. (And by the way, this may be the only time I ever urge you not to write, so take advantage of it.)

What is your favorite non-writing creative pursuit?  Comment below and join the conversation.

Photo by Missa88.

2

Reviewing Your 2013 Writing Life

Infodesign-calendars-design-52489-hSo, we've got two days until the new year, and I don't know about you, but I've been busy thinking about 2014.  I have so many writing goals I want to accomplish–novels and stories to get out in the world, and classes and products to offer here on the blog.  So this year I'm trying to approach it logically (not my strong suit, as I'm about as right-brained as they come), and write out my goals now.  (I'm using this workbook that my daughter got me for Christmas.)

The difference for me this time around is that I'm actually taking the time to review 2013.   Yeah, I know, brilliant idea, right?  Anyway, as I was working on this project earlier this morning, the thought occurred that maybe you would like some guidance on looking over 2013 as well.  So herewith, I offer questions to ponder and answer in three areas: writing, motivation and putting it into the world (also known as marketing).

(And by the way, I'll be back on Thursday, newsletter day, with guidance for planning your 2014 writing life.)

1.  Writing.  

We start with this because it is the basis of everything.  Duh.

–What was the best thing about your writing in 2013?

–What was the worst thing?

–What are you most proud of?

–What is your biggest writing accomplishment?

–What felt good around your writing?

–What felt off?

–What lessons did you learn around your writing?

–What do you want more of?

–What do you want less of?

–What was your biggest writing problem?

2.  Motivation

Yes, one could argue that this could come first, but I maintain, as mentioned above, that when you're a writer, writing is the starting point of everything.  

–What inspired you?

–What motivated you to plant your butt in the chair and write?

–What de-motivated you?

–What got in the way of your writing?

–What is your biggest issue in finding time to write?

–What time of day were you most inspired?

–What books inspired you?

–What blogs inspired you?

–What magazines inspired you?

–What other creative pursuits inspired you?

3.  Marketing

I know, ick, but if you want your work to go out in the world, you've got to consider it.

–How did you market your work in 2013?

–What were your most successful channels?

–How many times did you submit your work in 2013? Or, how many pieces did you publish yourself?

–Which social media outlet did you rock?

–Did you blog or maintain your website consistently?

–What did you learn about yourself and your writing through marketing?

–Do you have a mailing list?  Did you grow it this year?

–How did your off-line marketing efforts go?

–Did you get media publicity this year? In what venues?

–What areas of marketing did you most enjoy?

Okay, there you have it–30 questions to answer about 2013.  I'll be back on Thursday with thoughts to ponder for 2014.  In the meantime, would you care to comment?  What was your biggest writing accomplishment in 2013? 

Image by eliazar.

6

Checking in on the Three Words of the Year

Did you choose three words (or one word) to live by this year?  Have you checked back to see how you're doing with these words?

Last December, in a post titled Three Powerful Words for An Amazing New Year, I announced my words and the thought behind them.  Since we're halfway (gasp) through the year, I thought it would be fun to revisit my words and see how I'm doing.  I'm wondering if you might think it is time to do the same thing with your words.

One reason I'm doing this is because I've written the words on a post-it note that is stuck to a cabinet above my desk, and my gaze falls upon them when I stare off into space.   Most of the time, I barely notice them, but once in awhile the words come into focus and I ponder them.   Yesterday, I pondered them so hard that I finally checked back to the original post to see how I'm doing.

The answer is that I'm doing okay.  Probably not great, but okay.

My three words for the year are creativity, faith, and inquiry. 

I'm going to talk about faith first, because its the word around which I'm doing the best.  In my post I wrote about my faith in God, which is important to me, but also faith in myself, what I'm doing, and that everything was going to be all right.  I wrote about having faith in my ability to go deep within and uncover the riches that are buried there.  And in the six months since I wrote that, I've been learning to do all of this on an ongoing basis–learning being the operative word.  What I'm learning is that faith of this nature responds to effort, maybe even requires effort, and that by making the effort you begin to create the faith.  One of the hallmarks of this year is that I've been consistently making the effort.

I'm doing fairly well with inquiry, too.  In the original post I wrote about not wanting to take things at face value, to dig a bit deeper mentally and form my own opinions.  I still leap to judgment, oh dear lord how I leap to judgment.  I can read a rant on the internet and be totally convinced of its truth, then read oppositional comments and switch to the other point of view immediately.  Such is the curse of the impressionable mind. One way I am using inquiry successfully is to turn off the internal blame machine, and this is a wonderful thing.  If I've eaten a piece of chocolate cake, for instance, or fallen down on my writing goals, I say to myself, "Hmmm, I wonder why that happened."  Or, "Wow, that's interesting.  Wonder what's going on?"  This allows me to observe myself more objectively.  The thought occurs I should turn this style of inquiry to the outside world as well.

And finally we get to creativity.  Falling down a bit here. I'm a lifelong knitter and I love the craft.  It soothes me, satisfies my need for beauty, and allows me to make useful things.    There's nothing I love more than spending an afternoon poking around yarn stores, then coming home with a new project and casting on.  But here's the deal: I don't do it enough.  One of the things I wrote in my year-end post was how I wanted to partake of this kind of creativity more regularly.  I've got opportunity: my pug Buster loves nothing better than for me to sit with him and watch TV in the evenings, and Buster is ancient old and so I figure I better humor him while I can.  This would be a perfect chance to indulge in this creative hobby of mine, but do I?  Sometimes.  And I can't figure out why I don't do it more.  Time to take advantage of that inquiry that is the other hallmark of this year.

Alrighty, then.  That is far more than enough about me.  What about you?  Did you choose three words for the year?  What were they?  How are you keeping up with them?

 

10

Expect Nothing, Accept Everything…and Show Up

One of the recent phrases of wisdom I've been attempting to follow is this:

Expect nothing, accept everything.  To which I add: and show up. Opening-open-closed-28753-l

I'm not sure where the original quote came from.  I heard it at church.  It resonates with me because it has taken me a long time to grasp the "expect nothing" part of it, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this.  Because, if we want something, aren't we supposed to visualize it?  And isn't that a form of expecting?  But now you're telling me not to expect anything after all.  And how am I supposed to think about my goals if I'm to expect nothing?  Isn't having goals expecting something? Sigh.  This stuff is confusing as all hell.

But here's what I've figured out: the trick is to just go out there and do the work–show up–and then accept what happens.  Without expectation.   It's a subtle tweak, doing the work without expectation.  Because most of the time what motivates us to take action is expectation.  Expectation that we'll get money, or success, or fame, or whatever.

But expectation can also drive what we want away.  Have you ever wanted something so bad that you felt all screwed up and twisted inside?  Its that kind of expectation that actually blocks the flow. Sometimes this happens with visualization, too.  The trick with that is to visualize your goal, and then release it to the universe to make it happen as it will.

Which is where acceptance comes in.  We think that we know just how things will turn out.  We certainly know how we want them to turn out.  And we also like to think we're in control.  Ha! But so often, things don't turn out like we planned.  Sometimes, they turn out better.  Sometimes we think they turn out worse but later we realize that is not the case.  So accepting what comes is very important.

But probably most important is taking action. If we fail to master the showing up part, then we languish.  We visualize our goals and wonder why nothing is happening.  Um, could it be because we've forgotten the showing up part?  I'm pretty sure this is where much of the sneering at New Age ideas comes in.  There's been an enormous backlash and misunderstanding about the movie The Secret, for instance.  Because people missed the taking action part. 

My understanding of all this is still a work in progress, so I'm happy to hear any clarifications, or differences of opinion, or amplifications.  Comments are encouraged!

If you're having a hard time showing up to do your creative work, my Get Your Writing in Gear sessions are $50 off for my March Madness sale.  Get clarity, get refocused, get rarin' to go on your project in a jam-packed hour of inspiration based on your current issues.  For more information, click on the purple button to the right, or check out this link.

8

Losing My Mojo, or, A Ray of Light

There was an article in the Sunday Oregonian yesterday about all the crises we face in the world–the oil spill, war, the economy–and how they are getting people down.
Bright_shine_heat_222751_l

No, duh.

Usually I am immune to the tyranny of news stories.  Aware, but immune.

Lately, though, I've let it all get me down.  Yesterday, as I tried to work on a piece of writing, I got totally distracted by coverage of a local story, a missing seven-year-old boy, who one minute was happily running down the hall of his school and the next was gone. I was feeling down and discouraged.  Sad about the boy and worried about his mother.  Frustrated by the lack of progress in finding an agent for my novel. (Which absolutely, utterly pales in comparison to the plight of the missing boy.)

And the thought came to me, unbidden:

What if you could be the ray of light in all of this?

I know, it sounds ridiculously new age and schmaltzy.  But my brain works that way sometimes.  Yours probably does too, you just won't admit it publicly.

So, what if I could be a ray of light?  What if you could?  What would we do?

I dunno, I really don't.  But here's a few ideas:

1.  Quit watching the news.  Okay, I don't watch it.  But I read the newspaper.  And I read internet sites avidly.  And even if I could lessen my exposure just a little bit, I would make a better light.

2.  Meditate.  I have an off and on relationship with the practice.  But every time I get into an on period I feel much better.  Clearer.  Dare I say it? Lighter.  More in touch with myself, connected with the universe. 

3.  Write more.  It's the cure for anything that ails you.

4.  Find other creative outlets.  I like to mess around with painting, for instance.  Or needlework.  Or gardening.  Creativity, like writing, is the best revenge.

5.  Read more books.  Good books, classics or great examples of contemporary work.  And read fewer things on the internet.  Except for this blog, of course.

That's five.  Not bad for a discouraged person.  Actually, pondering ways to not be discouraged is quite helpful.  I feel better now.  Think I'll go have a glass of wine.  And maybe that deserves a number, too!

6.  Drink red wine.  And that makes me think of another one…

7.  Hang out with people you love.  Because that is what it is all about, isn't it?

Join me as I grope through the dark.  What are your ideas for shining light in these perilous times?  Or just for getting us all through Monday?

7

Imperfect Action

A friend writes from flood-weary Nashville that she is sometimes writing only one word a day as clean up progresses.  Imperfect action.
Everystockphoto_133452_m

I set writing one paragraph a day on the next novel as my goal.  Imperfect action.

You sit down to work on your memoir and the words tumble out onto the page in a glorious, raw glump. Imperfect action.

What is imperfect action?  It is doing something, anything towards a goal.  It is doing something, anything, even when you aren't exactly sure what you should do.  Doing something when you're overwhelmed.  Doing anything when it isn't perfect yet.

Imperfect action is just doing it.  Getting ourselves out of our heads and into the world.  Putting words on paper, even when we haven't the vaguest.  Starting a blog.  Writing an article.  You name it.

And I'm sure you get the drift.

We spend way too much time waiting for perfection.

What imperfect action do you need to take?

0

The Party’s Over

The last few weeks, I've been running a feature called Festive Fridays on, well, Fridays.
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But, I have to say, the party has been a bit of a dud.  Or at least it seems so to me.  The posts don't get any comments and I'm certainly not receiving breathless emails urging me to keep them up.  So I'm making like the police and shutting the party down.

Which returns me to my original problem of what to post on Fridays.  I often have appointments on Fridays which make it difficult to post.  And, since I've made a solemn vow to post every weekday, this is a problem.

But, never fear, I have come up with a new solution.  Are you ready?

Drum roll, please….

Guest posts!

Yes, I'm inviting you, my loyal readers to write me a guest post.  Here are the guidelines:

1.  They can be in the 500-word range, but if you write longer, I'll probably go for it, too.

2.  Topics can be on any aspect of writing, coaching, motivation, inspiration, spirituality, or the writer's life.

3.  Keep it clean and positive, as I'm on an anti-negativity kick.

Interested?  Email me at wordstrumpet@gmail.com with your idea or your finished piece and we'll talk.

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