“Small steps are great. But you gotta keep walking.”
A guest on Joanna Penn’s “The Creative Penn” podcast said that some years ago, and I wrote it down and posted it above my writing station. I forgot to write down who said it, though. My bad.
At the time I didn’t have a lot of free time to write for myself. The guest reminded me that it’s OK to write only a little at a time, but if I want to make progress, skipping a session or quitting altogether cannot be an option.
Here’s what other words of wisdom have been enshrined in Post-It notes around my writing station:
+ “Enlighten. Encourage. Entertain.” — the “mission statement” of my writing career. On another Post-It note I have “Encourage. Entertain. Enlighten.” I must have been in a different frame of mind that day.
+ Heinlein’s Rules: 1. You must write. 2. You must finish what you start. 3. You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order. 4. You must put it on the market. 5. You must keep it on the market until sold. (By the way, Dean Wesley Smith has a terrific short book about Heinlein’s Rules, called, well, Heinlein’s Rules.)
+ (in big letters) HAVE FUN
+ “When you have a God-given talent, you must use it all the time.” — Vince Lombardi
+ “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” — Ray Bradbury
+ “Your writing IS your real life.” — Lauren Sapala
+ “Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.” — Christopher Morley’s last message to his friends, 1957
+ “I have a contract with my audience — that I will do better, that I will give them a reason to come in again that is more than the reason we gave them last time.” — Joss Whedon
Last but not least, taped to my computer monitor right above the screen:
+ “You only fail if you stop writing.” (Bradbury)
The bad news about posting inspirational sayings at your work station is that you tend to take them for granted every once in a while, because they literally become part of the scenery.
The good news is every so often, your eyes focus on the words and give you a good jolt — “Oh yeah, I need to remember that.”