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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Writer's Survival Guide

In my never-ending quest to procrastinate, I browsed through a writing advice book: The Writer's Survival Guide by Rachel Simon. It's clear she has been a working writer, and she has solid counsel to pass along. I particularly liked chapter 2, "Big Emotions and States of Mind." Simon lists
  • Competitiveness--a seething desire to best everyone else
  • Confidence
  • Contemplativeness
  • Ego--"a rigid self-perception of supposed perfection"
  • Energy
  • Envy
  • Feelings of failure--"a shudder of vast disappointment in ourselves"
  • Feelings of inferiority
  • Guilt
  • Insecurity
  • Inquisitiveness
  • Laziness
  • Loneliness
  • Love/Hate--"contradictory epiphanies about our work"
  • Meaningfulness--"a glow of dignity from engaging in purposeful activity"
  • Paranoia
  • Passion
  • Pride
  • Shame--worrying about what will happen when everyone realizes that you are a fraud.
  • Spiritual contectedness

The general antecdotes to the negatives among that list are found in chapter 3: setting boundaries; celebrating every accomplishment; committing to ourselves that our writing is valuable; believing in our own inner voice; exhibiting humility, discipline, patience, and tenacity; and having writing friends.

Of course she describes and expounds. She sometimes sounds too New Age-y for me, but pretty much I agree with her views.


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