Happy New Year!

January 3rd, 2012

greenlight_picWelcome back, all! Did everyone have a good holiday break? Get some reading in, or editing, or some fabulously relaxing writing time? I hope so!

Alas, I didn’t get quite as much done as I’d hoped — it turns out an 11-month-old is not the most conducive partner for quiet reading time. But today everyone headed back to school/daycare, and I could get back to work.

Maybe you took some time off from work this break as well — time off from writing, or creating, or querying — whatever. And so maybe you need this kick in the pants from author Chuck Wendig, that’s making the rounds on Twitter today. A taste:

Stop Hurrying. The rise of self-publishing has seen a comparative surge forward in quantity. As if we’re all rushing forward to squat out as huge a litter of squalling word-babies as our fragile penmonkey uteruses (uteri?) can handle. Stories are like wine; they need time. So take the time. This isn’t a hot dog eating contest. You’re not being judged on how much you write but rather, how well you do it. Sure, there’s a balance — you have to be generative, have to be swimming forward lest you sink like a stone and find remora fish mating inside your rectum. But generation and creativity should not come at the cost of quality. Give your stories and your career the time and patience it needs. Put differently: don’t have a freak out, man.

Stop Waiting. I said “stop hurrying,” not “stand still and fall asleep.” Life rewards action, not inertia. What the fuck are you waiting for? To reap the rewards of the future, you must take action in the present. Do so now.

Stop Thinking It Should Be Easier. It’s not going to get any easier, and why should it? Anything truly worth doing requires hella hard work. If climbing to the top of Kilimanjaro meant packing a light lunch and hopping in a climate-controlled elevator, it wouldn’t really be that big a fucking deal, would it? You want to do This Writing Thing, then don’t just expect hard work — be happy that it’s a hard row to hoe and that you’re just the, er, hoer to hoe it? I dunno. Don’t look at me like that. AVERT YOUR GAZE, SCRUTINIZER. And get back to work.

It goes on for 25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing, and I can’t think of any better way to get the year going.

Happy New Year!

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