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Archive for June, 2012


Must all writers set goals?

 

We writers are all different to an extent, just as each individual human is a unique being. Why then, must we all set about our writing in a like manner? Must we each strive to write a certain number of words/pages/chapters each day/week/month? Is it necessary to put ourselves under such pressure, to become a slave to our trade? The answer is, yes and no. For the very reason I stated above. We are unlike each other. Different things motivate us in different ways, so why should we all pound out 1,000 words each day like robots on a production line?

I am a project person. If my goal is to mow the yard, I begin that task. It may take me an hour or two, or it may take me two days. Sometimes, pulling up weeds seems more important than mowing them down. Pulling weeds is exciting at times. At other times, it’s a back breaking chore. Racing around the yard kicking up dust clouds and throwing grass clipping to the wind can be exhilarating or frustrating. We all are interrupted by one thing or another and get annoyed when we do not reach our goal at a set time or place. Is it really worth the pressure?

I’m not a fanatic about anything. I don’t look at a project as requiring 35 rounds with the mower or doing five rounds before taking a water break, nor do I set a goal of finishing before noon. Sometimes I do the trim work with the weed eater before I bring in the heavy equipment. If I miss a blade of grass here and there, I look upon it as giving my yard a little character unlike my neighbor across the street whose yard looks like a painted picture without a flower or bush out of place.

I am proud of my yard. I plant it to please myself, not my neighbors. If there is a weed here or there, so what. A weed is merely a plant in a spot one does not want it. And, I hate habits. They are such mindless things, especially for us old folks who cannot remember if we did something a moment or so ago. They lead us down tedious paths to where we fail to stop and taste the flavor. Isn’t it grand we are not a line of flawless robots?

Get out of that rut you’re in. Relax and let the words flow instead of forcing them onto the paper/screen. Stop at 500 words. That’s if cannot write unless you are under pressure. Cut your writing time 15 minutes short or continue writing 15 minutes longer.

I began writing two decades ago as a form of therapy, to find out what was inside me. I continue today, because, I replenish my soul each day by reading ten times more than I write about what’s in other people’s souls. If the day comes when I no longer fine new avenues to explore, I will discontinue my writing.

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again. If it feels good, do it. How one achieves their writing is not chiseled in stone. Don’t be afraid to try something new or even something old. Everything about writing is relative.

 

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