Tuesday, April 21, 2009

14 Pillars of a Profitable Writing Practice

1. Be due at the page. Go to your rendezvous point every day, sit down and write. Enter the gentle fire, scrape down to your bones and immediately start dancing across the page. Crank the valve of your inner wellsprings and currents, sit with your search and start mining some nuggets.

Search for dazzling visions of pure truth, then spill them onto the page. Look for what is strong and good and commence the revelation of your own true nature. Assert yourself, your beliefs and your values onto the page. Just be sure to keep your writing hand moving so The Editor can’t catch up. What’s your writing schedule?

2. Digest and OWN your experience fully. All that you’ve experienced informs your work. If you have more experiences, your writing will be that much richer. It’s that simple. Deliberately seek out adventures, then transform and render them. When you paint with the brush of your own experience, tapping the fountain of your personal truth, it is impossible to be anything other than unique. What cool thing did you do yesterday?

3. Do experiments everywhere. With thoughts. With things. With people. Non-stop, every single day, with everything. In fact, don’t just do experiments – BE an ongoing experiment. Turn your life into one BIG, fat, juicy hypothesis that constantly gets proven right AND wrong. You’re not just a writer; you’re a scientist. An inventor. What did you experiment with today?

4. Don’t “find” time to write. Wrong sentence. Wrong philosophy. Writers who are serious and real and brilliant don’t “find” time to write. They MAKE time to write. They constantly steal moments from the crowded day.

It’s simple: If you’re not writing, you’re not a writer. If you’re too busy to write, you’re not a writer. If you’re unable to MAKE time to write, you’re not a writer. If you’re not making writing your #1 priority, you’re not a writer. Do you (really) need to watch another episode of Law & Order?

5. Don’t think and THEN write. That’s one too many steps. Do that, and I guarantee your thoughts will never make it in time. Instead, learn to think on paper. To write and think at the same time. To finish writing out your thoughts so you can see what it is you’re thinking about. You write to learn what you know.

Remember: Rants are goldmines. Stop yourself mid-sentence when you’re onto something good. Stop talking and start writing. Don’t waste your breath. Write only if to see where your thoughts were about to take you. Capture them onto the page because if you simply release them from your mouth and into the atmosphere, they may disintegrate forever. Have you written about that yet?

6. Don’t write. VOMIT. BLEED. EXCRETE. SWEAT. TRANSMIT. DIVE. EXCAVATE. EXPLORE. Are you partaking in something bigger and stronger than just “writing”?

7. Egg yourself on. Self-motivation is the secret to writing, writing WELL, and writing often. You are the only person who will EVER inch your art further. Nobody has a stake in your writing but YOU. Nobody is going to make you get up and go to work. And if you quit, most of the world will probably never notice.

Oh, and there's no such thing as Writers Block. Only Thinker’s Block. Writers Block is a lie. If you want to avoid writer's block, think more. If you want to write better, think better. How are you fueling your internal motivation?

8. Every word and every sentence has a history. Use dictionaries. Study etymologies. Explore anagrams. Become a wordsmith. Hitch a ride on the invisible timeline of your content. Trust the integrity of your words and find out where they’ve been all you life. How carefully do you chose your words?

9. Everything is fodder. I repeat: Everything. Material. Content. Ingredients. The world is one big-ass idea market, and it’s all F-R-E-E. There is no waiting in line and coupons are irrelevant. If you see something you like and you want, you take it. Then, when you get home, you mix it with related thoughts and conjure something bigger, as you become bigger yourself. From which unusual places do you get your material?

10. Honor and respect. When you feel something, some entity, some beautiful truth, tugging at your soul, don’t you DARE turn your back on it. Adequately respond. Stop what you’re doing, honor it and get it down on paper. Always honor what stops you. Otherwise, you will give it the impression that it’s an annoyance, and it may never bother you again. Oh boy. How many great ideas did you ignore yesterday?

11. Invoke the muse. Art is about getting out of the way and letting the light and truth that lay within be released. So, before you start creating, begin with stillness and silence. Say a prayer. Start chanting. Recite an incantation. Anything that honors and calls that which you are in the service of.

Here's what I do every morning @ 5 AM (sometimes 4) when I start work. It's straight from Eric Maisel’s book, Ten Zen Seconds. The invocation goes like this:

“I am completely stopping … I embrace this moment … I expect nothing … I am richly supported … I trust my resources … I am equal to this challenge … I am ready to write.”

Then you go to work. You write yourself open. Are you recognizing that you’re at the mercy of your creative impulses?

12. Order comes later. Stop organizing. Just get your ideas down on paper and let them grow slowly and change. Pacemaker inventor Wilson Greatbatch agreed. “I don’t even know what I’m going to do before I try it,” he joked. “The ideal situation is to build something that’s so new and different and exciting, that you ship it out and THEN sit back and say, ‘Now, what have we built?’” Are you suspending the need to organize your work?

13. Penetration. Ultimately, the act of writing your ideas down crystallizes them. And as you re-ingest your new creation that you once yuked out, you now allow it profoundly penetrate you. As a result, your ideas become ingrained upon your consciousness, etched into your brain and solidified into your being. They make you bigger. They become an inseparable part of your person, your expanded soul. And you will never be the same again. What’s penetrating you lately?

14. Steal some snippets. Transplant fragile pieces of ideas – that may not have survived on their own – into your creative world. Like a rescue dog that desperately needs to be removed from an unproductive, growth-prohibiting environment, you save these snippets.

You give them a temporary home. Wash their feet. Nourish their bellies. Then, you stamp them with your seal of approval and send them out into the world (aka, the page), gorgeous and healthy and ready to run like the wild banshees that they are. Are you a creative foster parent?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How profitable is your writing practice?

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For the list called, "9 Things Every Writer Needs to do Every Day," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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