Below is an excerpt from John Irving’s 1978 novel The World According to Garp:
Garp threw away his second novel and began a second novel. Unlike Alice, Garp was a real writer—not because he wrote more beautifully than she wrote but because he knew what every artist should know: as Garp put it, “You only grow by coming to the end of something and by beginning something else.”Even if these…
We need the prodding, we need Mom’s extra push. If it weren’t for other people like Mom, Dad, a coach, brother, or teacher advising us what we should do, important experiences and future cues would go missing.
This is not to say that following advice is a prerequisite to success. For one, instructions are subjective — everyone’s life trial is unique. As thought leader Steve Garguilo chimed:
“Never get up from your computer until you’ve made a note about what you want to write next. That way you can slide right back in.”
Jane K. Cleland (see books)
gif via Shameless Maya
‘Intention without action is an insult to those who expect the best from you’
Despite popular belief to the contrary, there is absolutely no power in intention. The seagull may intend to fly away, may decide to do so, may talk with the other seagulls about how wonderful it is to fly, but until the seagull flaps his wings and takes to the air, he is still on the dock.
In the book Why We Write, 2011’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jennifer Egan shares three writing tips for aspiring writers:
- Read at the level at which you want to write. Reading is the nourishment that feeds the kind of writing you want to do. If what you really love to read is y, it might be hard for you to write x.
- Exercising is a good analogy for writing. If you’re not used to exercising you want to avoid it forever. If you’re used to it, it feels uncomfortable and strange not to. No matter where you are in your writing career, the same is true for writing. Even fifteen minutes a day will keep you in the habit.
- You can only write regularly if you’re willing to write badly. You can’t write regularly and well. One should accept bad writing as a way of priming the pump, a warm-up exercise that allows you to write well.
Number two is my favorite piece of advice. Writing is like a muscle that needs to be worked out again and again, kind of like brushing your teeth. After you establish the habit, you should feel a bit empty when you don’t do it. Make a schedule and stick to it.
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “wells01-20”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “manual”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_design = “enhanced_links”;
amzn_assoc_asins = “0452298156”;
amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “6af48bd90f0da284ba5fe5d0871347f0”;
Senior Art Critic for New York Magazine Jerry Saltz posed an interesting question on Instagram:
What art-MAKING advice would your older-self give your younger-self? I’ll start with three.
1. Let go of being smart; don’t dismiss any idea as too dumb.
2. Bring the crazy.
3. Change the ways you use of making the same thing.
The advice in the replies blew me away. The common sentiment seems to be to…
Photo by Wells Baum Do we really need a plan A or plan B when there are so many other letters left in the alphabet to try out? It doesn’t matter how many times it takes you. 26 letters, 26 doubts. From petty arguments to politics, do we really need to be right all the time? Rightness is a quirk in human development. Our view isn’t valid until we can suspend judgment and try to entertain…
gif by Miguel Porlan We consume, drop, and run, looking forward to the next piece of music, article, or person to date. We say we want to be successful, but we’re not willing to put in the work nor take responsibility for any hiccups along the way. We want everything yesterday without spending the time to chew on our experiences to-date. We can’t afford to live up to somebody else’s imposed…