I'm currently reading Jordan Rosenfeld's A Writer's Guide to Persistence: How to create a Lasting and Productive Writing Practice. Every year I find an inspirational book that lights a fire under me, spurs me on to continue writing. I have a tendency to let family and work demands, stress and worry, all life's obligations short me out. I read about the writers who write through thick and thin, like the postman who works no matter the weather, those who have been writing all their lives and I start comparing myself to others. The well dries up and I escape into a book, the internet, television avoiding the page. Which leads me back again to the question, "Why do I write?"
Probably because I get all crotchety and grumpy when all those thoughts, feelings, ideas, and characters are waiting in the back of my brain festering, wanting, needing to be expressed. Why do I resist instead of persist? Then call it what you will - God or coincidence, synchronicity - I'll stumble back to the page and the well opens up again.
This time I found Jordan's book who encourages writers to persist and practice their craft.
..."Writing is not just a means to an end but a way of life, of processing information and experience and expressing oneself on a regular basis... Writers must write. How you do it, where, when, and why are all up to you. Excuses are a way of keeping yourself 'safe' from the demands of a writing practice... Writers are the people who find a way, no matter what, to keep writing, polishing, and persisting. No excuses. No one will do it for you. Your writing practice is in your hands."
Rosenfeld then takes it a step further with asking 'what is the value of your writing?"
"If your burning reason to write is because it makes you happy or releases the wild voices from your head or helps you analyze the world around you, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. You must learn to please yourself in the process of your practice or you will become vulnerable to discouragement, despair, and giving up. At the end of the day 'writing must be its own reward' as Anne Lamott famously said."
"The moment you see it as a 'practice' that derives from an authentic place inside you, you step outside the bounds of success and failure and enter a wholly new, deeper territory in which everything you do for and with your writing is a part of the greater sum. No words or work are ever wasted. No failure is ultimate, instead everything is another step further on the path of your writing practice."
"Everything counts as long as you choose to see it in that light. The value of your writing practice is ultimately up to you. And once you know what the value is, no one can take it away from you through rejection, criticism, or competition."
And the icing on the cake of life, again synchronicity, is Laura Benedict's post over on The Kill Zone - Quit Trying to Write and her very simple statement 'If you're writing, you're a writer. Keep writing' and quoting Yoda's sage advice. "do or do not, there is no try." I love Star Wars. *grin*
No procrastination, no resistance, no excuses as I persist and practice, spilling words onto the page on a regular basis. At the beginning of the year I joined the 10 Minute Novelists 365 Writing Challenge and set writing, editing, consistency goals for each week which has helped keep me on track as well.
This month is also Mytwoblessings 12th Anniversary and I'm looking forward to sharing my continuing journey on a more consistent basis.
"Let perseverance be your engine and hope your fuel."
~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
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