Monday, May 24, 2010
Pitter Patter Let's Fly Atter - or ways writers can beat the urge to sleep...
And by sleeping, dear readers, I mean not doing what it is you want to do. So without further ado - I will fly at my list. For simplicity sake this is mainly addressed to writers and other 'artistes' but always transferable to your passion whatever it might be.
1. Know what it is YOU want to do, not your great aunt or your cubicle mate at work. Not your long dead third grade teacher who told you you'd never amount to a hill of beans - and speaking of a hill of beans - didn't hurt Jack the Beanstalk did it? So locate that which YOU want to do. First. You can spend much longer at this than you might think advisable. The more time you spend at this step - the less times you'll have to revisit the whole process. Trust me.
2. Keep moving from the big picture to the tiny detail. It is a good way to improve brain plasticity for one thing and for another it will keep you intrigued. I think those are the same things but am not entirely sure. How does this look - be inspired by the outcome of your project - imagine the book launch if you must or holding the published thing in your hands. This balcony view will get you going when you feel discouraged or lacking in energy. Then go down to the floor and get down and dirty with the details. Every tiny detail - every word, every metaphor, examining each brush stroke as it were, to see if it contributes to the overall theme.
3. Spend some time with writers who are better than you - as in more accomplished, farther down the writerly path. Be scrupulous when you do this. Mentor's can't be rushed or forced into mentorship - they must be wooed and they always have the right to refuse your advances. When you ask someone for half an hour of their time - that is what you must stick to. They are farther down the path because they've put their time in and they maintain that place by continuing to - honour this or they'll kick your whinging carcass to the curb! Or worse, they won't but they'll warn others about your vampirish nature.
4. Spend some time with writers who are newer to the game than you. You will be well rewarded when you encourage other writers. Don't let yourself be drained dry, however. (see above) Be clear about what you are willing to offer and what others want. And remember that idiot compassion does nobody any good. Neither does disrespect. Walk that fine line and remember that wherever you are there is someone farther along and someone nipping at your heels. All good.
5. Once having made a decision - stick to it. Stay the course. (see several Friday Challenges past) This means - if you have decided to write a book - well then you don't have to re-decide this every day and agonize over it. Writing a book means just that. Sit down. Write. Set a word goal if you like or an amount of time you are willing to be available for your muse. And do it. You won't always be brilliant - don't let that give you reasons to not show up. Showing up is the single most important thing you can do as a writer. If you write you will get better. And the better you get the more you'll feel like showing up. So SHOW UP!
Now, I'm going to take my own advice. Later, dear dear readers.