Friday, September 29, 2017

Conflicting advice...?

I read two different articles in the past twenty-four hours that really resonated with me. At first glance it seemed that they are contradictory, but upon reflection they aren't.

The first article I read talks about taking that next step to becoming a master of your craft and seven habits that shackle your ability to do so. The one that struck me the most was the lack of in-depth learning. Really "deep-diving" into learning as it were. Not sharing your attention with TV or social media or whatever, but eliminating distractions and focusing hard on the task at hand.

You know I had to do that to get book six done. Noise-canceling headphones, going in my office and closing the door, focusing. It got done and I was pretty happy with myself. Now why I didn't get my act together sooner is something to ponder on another day, but the book got done.

There are many areas of writing where I need/want to improve. Looks like I need to pick one and spend some time studying. I have a friend who chooses one thing each year to focus on. That sounds like a good plan.

The second article talked about staying healthy, physically and mentally, as an author. Full time authors spend a lot of time sitting. They spend a lot of time eating quick and easy meals, which usually means carb-based foods. They also spend a lot of time worrying about marketing and writing enough books to make money on top worrying about the house, the spouse, and the kids and whatever else is going on in their life.

The point of the second article was that your health, any aspect of it, is worth more than a dream. If you're not having fun trying to achieve your dream, then what's the point? I get that there a lot of exceptions and everyone has their own balance. But if worrying about trying to write 10 books a year in order to make X amount of money leaves you an anxious mess, then is it really worth it? I mean how good can your books be at that point?

Life is meant to be lived and how can you write good characters and interesting plot lines if you don't go out and interact with people and have fun? I don't think you can.

So the combined lesson is...yes, by all means, spend the time you need to learn something specific, study hard, focus. But that's not all you have to do until it's done. Watch the rain, take a walk, smell the roses, go to a hockey game, go swimming or boating, enjoy other crafty endeavors.

Have a great weekend y'all. See you Monday.

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