What’s the Most Inspirational Advice You’ve Ever Heard?

From The Office:

Michael: What’s the most inspiring thing I ever said to you?
Dwight: “Don’t be an idiot.” Changed my life.
Dwight: Whenever I’m about to do something, I think, “Would an idiot do that?” And if they would, I do not do that thing.
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Write Every Day

Don’t write a lot. Just write often.

Spending five hours on a Saturday on a working project isn’t nearly as valuable as spending one hour per day for five days straight, or even 30 minutes per day every day of the week.

The idea is repetition – developing a discipline of showing up, making this a priority, and working through the Resistance.

It should come as no surprise that habits practiced once a week aren’t habits at all. They’re obligations. If you don’t do something, you often stop doing it altogether. Read the rest of this entry »

Write Less, Not More: How to Slice and Dice

One of my favorite essays on writing is “Shitty First Drafts” by Anne Lamott.

Lamott’s thesis is this: All first drafts suck, so get it over already. (Really. That’s about her style, too.)

The point is to dismiss the myth that you can write something amazing on your first attempt, or that you should even try. It takes all the mysticism out of writing something that could be considered a stroke of pure genius — without even trying.

Most creatives want to be geniuses. There’s no question about that. But very few want to believe that something as dull as a drawn-out, disciplined process is what will get them there. Read the rest of this entry »