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So, what's Mr. Smartypants say? He says that first and foremost, writing is hard. Yep. Even for us who think that it comes "naturally." It's like playing the piano or throwing a baseball. Even if we have a natural gift or proclivity for it, practice is the only thing that keeps us honed. And not every note, or pitch, or paragraph is going to be the one that we want to repeat in front of a gazillion people. .
I have totally been in your shoes. Recently. I am studying with a relatively famous writer who addresses this quite regularly, and though I've been with him for three years, it's just been in the last couple of months that I think I really am starting to understand where he's coming from. And you know what? I'm writing again. With such delight that I can hardly stand it!!!!!!
So, what's Mr. Smartypants say? He says that first and foremost, writing is hard. Yep. Even for us who think that it comes "naturally." It's like playing the piano or throwing a baseball. Even if we have a natural gift or proclivity for it, practice is the only thing that keeps us honed. And not every note, or pitch, or paragraph is going to be the one that we want to repeat in front of a gazillion people. He says that he, in fact, writes at least 20 drafts of any short story or novel that he writes before ever sending it to his agent. And this guy's been at it (and won a Pen Faulkner, been a Pulitzer finalist . . . .) for over thirty years.
His other mantra is that we must read. Constantly, deeply, and variously. He suggests at least four books at a time (I think he says he reads 12) - so that we don't start imitating too much. I really think this is something that has helped me. In the past few months I've begun to look at reading as my job. And that's hard when you have a toddler toddling around and a dh who can't sit still to save his life. But it is part of my job.
okay, there's more, but then there's also the toddler . . . . I'll come back.
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