This. So much, this.
“Hone your craft. Write, and keep writing. Write until you’ve mastered what challenges you. Write every day, and each day push yourself to write a little more. Start side projects: personal journals, short stories. Anything. Just keep writing. Blogs are great, because they represent a daily–hourly!–chance to expose your work to the world. And to get almost instantaneous feedback. Moreover, daily blog entries are something akin to suicide sprints in that they might serve no obvious purpose on their own–not like, say, practicing layups–but they’ll up your game immeasurably.”
A reader asked, “while writing your book, was it a common question to stop in the middle of it thinking, ‘this is just bad, why am I doing this?'”
Apparently, he wasn’t referring to any of my books directly, which was a relief. Although he certainly wouldn’t be alone in loathing them; I got one particularly charming agent rejection that said basically the same thing. But to answer his question, the answer is: this–writing, editing, publishing, marketing, the whole miserable package–really is like training for a sport. You have to get out there and do it, every day, whether you want to or not. You have to put aside your doubts and just push forward. And push, and push.
An enormous component of any sport is mental; because forcing yourself to get back up and try again ranges from merely unpleasant to nigh on impossible. There’s a Japanese proverb, fall down…
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