Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Process is as Important as Product.

I reached 10,000 words today. They may be terrible words. Each one might have to be rewritten more than once. Still, when I think that I'm an eighth of the way through my goal, and weve only  been at this for about ten days, it makes me hopeful about what can be accomplished when you are consistent.
As I mentioned last night at the Beyond Baroque group, I'd like to see how I can morph this into a method I can use for projects I'm taking more seriously than this one. Or, do I have to pretend, in my own heart and mind, not to take the current story seriously if I don't want to be too paralyzed to write it. Let's face it. No one needs another book. Even though a few people have asked me when I'm going to have another one out, legions of people are not waiting for my next masterpiece to hit the bookstores. This is not being negative. It is right-sized thinking. We write because we want to and because we think we have something to say. Whether we are tortured artists or not probably has little impact on the work. We are what is inside us. We have inspired moments, but good work will likely best be accomplished my mastering the skill.

Mastering anything takes practice. If I wanted to master a martial art, I wouldnt show up just twice a week for an hour and think I'd be a master by the end of the year. If I wanted to learn to cook or to draw, I would have to practice. If I want to get fit, I can't just watch other people on treadmills. Believe me, I know this from experience.

Writing is an action. You might think about writing in the shower or while doing the dishes or exercising, but thinking about writing is not writing. You may dream of penning a bestseller and having fans want to bed you, but, unfortunately, that is not writing.

This exercise we are doing is practice like any other. One of my favorite books is Zen and the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel, 1953, it is a great disquisition on how "practice" works. Herrigel learns about life and mastery through archery. You have chosen writing. Practice will enrich you no matter what results from it.


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