In more than twenty years of writing, publishing, and teaching there are 3 crucial things I’ve noticed about successful, best selling authors that took them from amateur scribbler to published professional.
1. We get clear on why we are doing this writing thing in the first place. What drives us? What is our purpose for expressing ourselves with words, as opposed to say, photography, painting, dance, or music? How is our passion sparked and sustained? Clarity is essential.
2. We have a different relationship to practice. We practice every day or at the very least, every other day. Our practice is our life; it is what we do. Sure, the voices of doubt, frustration, and fear are there, but they are shoved to the back of the bus. The difference is, we hunker down turn up the volume on our purpose and passion, and write straight through the noise. We are willing to write crap, knowing the brilliant insights lie in the commitment to practice and process over time. NOT so much by “trying to figure it out,” or “think it through” in the moment and then bailing. We have to write through the fears and doubts, hesitancy and judgments into the fresh insights, without thinking. We keep reaching beyond the limits of our abilities, paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence, word by word.
3. We surround ourselves with greatness, and we study it. In writing this means we read. We read a lot, we read deeply, and diversely outside and inside of our genre. We alternate back and forth between reading practice and writing practice. This means we attend readings and events with successful, best selling authors, staying motivated inspired, and perpetually learning.
SPEAKING OF WHICH. . .We hope YOU will join us for a motivating and inspiring day with legendary American writer, Dave Eggers, for a day-long writing workshop, reading, Q&A, and discussion. May 7, 2016 in Napa California. This is your opportunity to change YOUR relationship to practice! For more details, click here.