The Teething of Writers

Teething of Writers

Joanna Kosinska photo/ Unsplash

What would happen if we quit every time it was hard to learn a skill?

Like writing. When my writing is stuck, I feel frozen.

If at first I don’t write something good, I try,try, again, like a masochist who keeps going to the dentist for the pain.

I stress out that my writing won’t resonate with anyone, and throw crumpled papers on the floor.

My dentist’s receptionist says she enjoys reading my blog, so does the hygienist; I don’t want to clean other people’s teeth — but if they love to do it, that’s the coolest job in the world.

As babies we suffer through the agonizing process of teething, until swollen gums and screams are replaced by toothy smiles. As we grow, those teeth become loose, and make way for bigger, stronger ones. Similar to the process of becoming a writer.

You must endure the pain of doing bad writing in order to get better.

Start somewhere. Start anywhere. Start where you are, with what you have.

That’s how you learn what works and what doesn’t.

Don’t pass judgement.

Be fearless.

Miles Davis said:

“Do not fear mistakes, there are none.”

Keep writing even if nobody likes what you write. Even if YOU don’t like what you write. Don’t give up.

Don’t lie in bed worrying that your creativity is gone. That will leave holes in you like the ones left by your wisdom teeth.

Don’t wait for a muse to inspire you. The tooth fairy for adults is busy…simply start writing!

Writing isn’t supposed to be perfect, or forced.

If you try to force your writing, it will knock your teeth out.

“Great works are not performed by strength, but by perseverance.”

– Samuel Johnson

You can be boring, discouraged, and full of writer’s envy, but hold on to your vision to write anyways.

Your self-critic accuses you of having nothing interesting to write and asks: “Who do you think you are?”

You don’t have to be the greatest writer that ever lived to write something.

At the moment the writing struggle starts to wear you out, you develop a resiliency that renews you, and inspiration does the writing for you. Then you are fit for the next writing challenge.

Bad times fade. Take a snow day to read a book and get unstuck.

You gain momentum to get you back to stardust and wonder.

It’s like finally finding your pen in the snow. Bringing it inside warms the ink. You draw a scribble to test it, and the melted ink oozes freely.

A voice says: “change that, copy someone you admire, use your voice, even if it is immature, or rusty, or shy. Right now. Where you are.”

After all, Nobody else has ever written it quite like You, nor ever will.

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Thank You Anna Henricson!

Twitter @AnnHoyBlog

Optimizing Yourself – Week 17 – Setting Constraints as Big as Dr. Seuss

working with constraints

Working With Constraints

Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) was the master of setting constraints. He once made a bet with a publisher at Random House that he could write a book using 50 words or less.

His power to set limits paid off when Green Eggs and Ham sold more than 200 million copies and was Seuss’s best- selling book

Cat in The Hat was written using only a first grade vocabulary

Limitations inspire creativity by making you find a way to make it work, and setting a schedule helps you get things done whether you feel like it or not, and adds to your productivity.

Everybody has a limited set of tools to work with, but you can work with your tools to maximize what you have.

For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I am going to challenge myself to set constraints and make myself work within limits, and find a creative way to make it work. I will let you know how it goes next week.

photo credit: ladybugbkt via photopin cc