" I hate writing. I love having written." Dorothy Parker
If you're like me, you may often dislike working out. But I most certainly love having worked out. What is it that you don't like doing but love having done?
Or how about Brian Clarke's Tens Steps to Becoming a Better Writer?
Write even more.
Write even more than that.
Write when you don't want to.
Write when you do.
Write when you have something to say.
Write when you don't.
Write every day.
Practice even more.
Practice even more than that.
Practice when you don't want to.
Practice when you do.
Practice when you have something to practice.
Practice when you don't.
Practice every day.
“You don't start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That's why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” Octavia E. Butler
In this age of Instagram and Insta-gratification, our culture conspires against the writing/living process. If you can't reach the stars (i.e., American Idol) within five minutes of leaving the launch pad, I mean - come on - you just don't have the goods to be great. Sadly, many of us actually believe this "crap". More accurately, when we start to learn something new, we most likely stink at it. And then we improve after a short time. And then we don't right away after that - it's not a linear progression. Remember the marshmallow experiment (go ahead and click on it)? Well, recent research has helped to understand the motivation of those who couldn't resist the one tantalizing marshmallow inches away from their taste buds for the two they'd get if they could just hold off the urge for a little while. It turns out that if we know how long we have to wait for the proverbial marshmallows, then we may be more apt to persevere in the face of our denial. Click here for the details.
“No writing is wasted. Did you know that sourdough from San Francisco is leavened partly by a bacteria called lactobacillus sanfrancisensis? It is native to the soil there, and does not do well elsewhere. But any kitchen can become an ecosystem. If you bake a lot, your kitchen will become a happy home to wild yeasts, and all your bread will taste better. Even a failed loaf is not wasted. Likewise, cheese makers wash the dairy floor with whey. Tomato gardeners compost with rotten tomatoes. No writing is wasted: the words you can't put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the
next words better.” Erin Bow
No venture is wasted. No effort is for naught. There is a use for it all - especially our mistakes, our failures. Find the lesson in each endeavor. Find a way to use each one.
“Writing starts with living." L.L. Barkat
Start today. You're writing fiction if you tell yourself that you'll begin on the first of the year.
The first of the year is now.