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Just as a vegetarian reinforces daily this way of life with the food he chooses to eat, the Productive Writer holds a clear and meaningful value that gets expressed and explored in a myriad of ways every single day--in the writing she does, the relationships she has, the spirit in which she works, and the opportunities she creates to move toward her goals.
As nuanced and unique as our writing lives are, such is our relationship with productivity. Different types of writing have different demands, and every project and commitment will teach us something new about who we are, what we’re made up, and what approaches bear repeating. This is the joy and the challenge of the writing life.
You may not realize it but whether or not you write today is important--it matters. There is power in the act of daily writing, and when you touch your craft every day, it becomes part of your life, a habit that you’ll miss if you skip it too often. Successful writers have learned to weave the craft of writing into their daily lives, and you can too.
It’s what you do now, here, today, that will determine if you finish your novel. The more you write, the more you feel like writing. Momentum will build, and with it, your motivation, dedication, and enthusiasm for writing.
The fact that I was hearing this “show, don’t tell” comment on my writing drove me nuts not just because I’d been hearing it forever, but because 1) plenty of writers told as much if not more than they showed (hello, people…Philip Roth?), so why couldn’t I? and 2) I thought I showed plenty. I’d been working to change this so-called problem for years. Why didn’t my peers get what I was trying to do?
Her teacher responded, kindly but firmly, “You can tell the hell out of any story you want, as long as it’s working. What you’re hearing is that your telling isn’t working. Not as well as your scenes. You write good dialogue. When your characters interact with each other on the page we can see them and hear them. We want more of that.”