Cast Your Net

Danger: Raven Giant Ginkgo via Compfight

“Ultimately every writer must choose between safety and invention; between life as a literary couch potato and imaginative exercise. You must decide which you like better, the perfectionist within or the flawed pages at hand. Perhaps you’d rather hold yourself to the impossibly high standards of writers long dead. Or perhaps you’d rather not waste time writing something that will go unpublished, unnoticed and unread. You have received no encouragement from anyone else, and so you would never think of encouraging yourself. Or you choose to be a realist. You’re smart enough to see your talent is limited, your gift too small to pursue. You can convince yourself of all this, or you can listen to your imagination instead. You can fire yourself up with words and voices. You can look out into the world teeming with stories and cast your net.”

Ride the Wave

“Even if you have pushed yourself and feel you’ve broken through, push yourself further. If you are on, ride that wave as long as you can. Don’t stop in the middle. That moment won’t come back that same way again, and it will take much more time trying to finish a piece later on than completing it now.”

Your Own Ineptitude

Smith-Corona Typewriter
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Haris Awang via Compfight
“I sometimes think that I’m just one of the people who comes here every day and does it, even though I don’t feel like it, even though it’s difficult and I feel stupid and brain-dead and unequal to the task … I have days that are complete losses. It’s awful. I just sit and stare at the screen and nothing happens; hours go by and I write down a line and delete it, then write down another line and save it to delete tomorrow. And that’s it. That was the writing day. I have known writers over the years, enormously talented, who are so self-conscious about it, who are so terrified of ever writing a bad sentence, that they can’t write anything at all. I think a certain fearlessness in the face of your own ineptitude is a useful tool.”