This Is What You’d Do If You Took Your Writing Seriuosly

Woman biting a notebook

If you took writing seriously, your first instinct would’ve been to click on this post to tell me I spelt my title wrong. Awesome job. That’s what a serious writer would do.

But don’t feel left out if you didn’t, because you’re here, and that means you’re awesome either way.

Besides, writing is more than being the grammar police, am I right? It’s not just about being keen with the language. You’ll also need to approach it from a crafter’s perspective rather than an artist’s.

That’s why I’ve always enjoyed Ann Patchett’s book on the craft titled The Getaway Car. You don’t see it brought up often, especially when compared to the usual suspects such as Stephen King’s On Writing or Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird, but boy is it filled with tons of crafting wisdom.

This quote summarises why I like Ann’s thoughts on writing: “Why is it that we understand playing the cello will require work, but we attribute writing to the magic of inspiration?”

Spot on, Ann. Spot on.

Dunning-Kruger up in here

There aren’t many things that people think they can do out of the box, yet some skills like writing, fighting, and singing often get a pass.

Common thoughts like “nobody can take me on when I get angry, bro” or “my first book is going to be better than Twilight” are often expressed with little follow through, and with good reason. It’s because the above skills require actual skills. And that takes practice. Lots of it.

You don’t hear any schmuck off the street saying “I’m going to join the Philharmonic Orchestra”, but you do get a ton of “I’m going to write a bestseller” even though their last attempt at writing a story was in Miss White’s fourth grade class.

That’s not to say that the average person can’t whip up a manuscript by month’s end. It’s just that it’ll probably be the equivalent of an untrained person going up on American Idol—you get the occasional savants, but most of the time, it’s shit.

That’s the main distinction between the pros and the casuals. It’s not about bylines, money, connections, or vocabulary. It’s the respect they have for the craft.

And so what better way to kick this week off with things you’d do if you treated your writing like a craft?

1. You would train

Because writing is so accessible, nobody gives practice a second thought. In most people’s minds, writing a novel is all about firing up a word processor and magically plucking sentences out your ass.

And in some ways, that’s true.

But you wouldn’t do the same if you were, say, a sportsperson or musician. At least then you’d admit incompetence from having not done said activity.

There’s no such luxury for writing though. Tell people you wrote a short story and your listeners would tell you they’d do the same. It’s just making stuff up after all, isn’t it?

Never mind the fact that transforming the thoughts in your head into an actual story requires experience that you’ll only get from… well… writing.

We’re headed into chicken-and-egg territory here, but you get the gist—it’s not wrong to start on your writing dreams today. Just don’t think that all you need is a weekend off on a tropical island for you to bang out your first space opera.

Writing Seriously Marathon - Leah Hetteberg

Would you run a marathon without proper training? Because writing a novel’s a marathon of its own. Photo: Leah Hetteberg

2. Prioritising would be a priority

Nobody accidentally summits Mount Everest. There’s a ton of work involved in that quest, and said work requires day-to-day sacrifice.

Likewise, nobody drifts through life only to accidentally write an 80,000-word manuscript.

Of course, writing isn’t exactly climbing Mount Everest, but it could very well feel like it. Because conquering your word count means doing the work necessary to tackle the blank page. And you’re not going to get there if you constantly put off your appointments with Google Docs.

I’m talking to you, mother of two, or holder of two jobs, or the carer of the sick. Whatever you have going on in your life right now may not disappear in the near future. So you best get to slotting in your writing time whenever you can.

Ask yourself: What would your routine look like if you prioritised writing?

Cam Hanes, an ultrarunner-slash-hunter, prioritises running one marathon a day. He does this while maintaining a full-time job and caring for his family. How? He wakes up earlier to run 16 miles, then he does about seven during his lunch break, and finishes everything off before bed.

You don’t need to go full on beast mode, but where in your unique life could you fit five minutes of writing? And what little luxuries could you forgo to make that happen?

Only you can answer that question.

3. Cross-training would be on the menu

I haven’t seen a successful athlete who didn’t also have a good strength and conditioning programme. Some athletes work on their mobility. Others take up a complementary sport like judo to round up their Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Sure, you don’t have to cross-train, but focus on one sport too much and you could end up overdeveloping certain muscles while neglecting others.

In that same vein, only sticking to what you know may do your writing more harm than good.

I personally have seen massive growth in my abilities after treading into uncharted territory, such as annual reports and business articles. And while exploring new mediums may seem like a fruitless pursuit, you’d be surprised at how much dimension it adds to your writing on a whole.

So get out of your comfort zone. Learn to swim in the literary pool if all you’ve ever done was to run laps. Here are a few places to start: scriptwriting, video game writing, comics, technical writing, and more!

Female swimmer diving off a dock into the ocean with a yacht in the background

Believe it or not, cross-training helps reduce your chances of injury. But don’t quote me on that. Photo: Charlotte Karlsen

4. You wouldn’t wait for motivation

Where would the Olympics be if the athletes only trained whenever they were in the mood? What would you think of your doctor if he didn’t show up to the operation theatre because he ‘wasn’t feeling it’?

Now apply that to writing. How would I sound if I told you I was serious about writing, yet I’d only write twice a week because that’s when my muse visits?

I know that the topic of writing without inspiration has been done to death, but if you’ve ever mentioned wanting to foster a life or writing, then know that I’ll be right behind you supporting you on your journey.

And as a true writing buddy, you can bet your ass I won’t let you succumb to your own excuses.

So from now on, be vigilant for the days you don’t feel like writing (and if you’re anything like me, you won’t have to wait too long). And if your plan for that day was to write, you make sure to welcome your negative feelings and keep it company as you sit your ass down at the keyboard to type.

5. You’d study your craft

Just like how a boxer would study tapes of his opponents, so too will you have to learn about your audience. And the way a musician learns her theory would also be the same way you’d approach your literary studies.

That could mean knowing the conventional tripe, such as ‘show don’t tell’ or ‘don’t mix your tenses’. That could also mean studying all the authors in your genre. Whatever it is, study the rules so that you can learn how to break them, just like I used different tenses five paragraphs up.

Because not caring about the rules is not the same as not knowing which ones you’re breaking.

Then once you’re done studying, forget everything you’ve learned, because life’s too short to take ourselves too seriously.

A lone student studying in a deserted auditorium

In a world where nobody wants to put in the work, studying your craft will put you ahead of the pack. Photo: Philippe Bout

Actions speak louder than words

Before I end this post, I’d just like to add a late disclaimer that all these points don’t matter if you’re just writing for fun. You can do anything you want if it’s just a hobby.

It’s when you turn pro that I have to hold you to higher standards. Because it’s so easy to hate these days, and I wouldn’t want you to be the subject of ridicule.

The person who blogs every day is putting out subpar content, because you can’t possible write quality posts that fast. The self-published author probably sucks because they can’t get an agent. That romance novel is stupid because of the glittering vampires.

But instead of hating or others, or worrying whether or not they hate you, perhaps we should all go back to the most important thing of all, and that’s to simply write.

Because once you look past the discussion of pantsers versus plotters, the poets versus the novelists, or the non-fiction versus the fiction writers, you’ll realise that the ones who take their craft seriously—no matter their identity or genre—have one thing in common: they write.

And in the end, so should you.


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123 thoughts on “This Is What You’d Do If You Took Your Writing Seriuosly

    • And I’m thankful that you’re here, Charlotte! You’re so amazing for taking the time to drop this supportive comment. Keep on being a great presence in the blogosphere!

    • I forget who said this, but the quote goes something like: “Make pain your friend and you’ll never be lonely.”

      That’s a pretty cool way to look at it. Anyway, thanks for stopping by!

  1. I’ve been trying so hard to find a writing club or take some classes at the local colleges. I can’t tell you how many times as a photographer I’ve had people ask me what app o use to shoot my images or what software or filter I used. It’s so cringeworthy its hard to maintain a sense of kindness to comments like that. I can relate, not as a writer Bec I’m still just getting started with that but as an artist in general.

  2. Damn.
    Recently, I got into a new type of “work” thats so draining, I’m starting to miss my former job at Couch Potato Enterprises [I was couch potato of the week– every week].

    Back then, I used to have so much free time and now I’m just piling up stuff to write for my blog for later, but no better time to start than after I click on Post Comment, right?

    Basically, I really needed this.
    Thank you🍁

    • Lol. There’s no better time to start writing than now. It’s always now. Doesn’t matter if it’s after clicking Post Comment, or after you eat dinner. It’s always the now that matters.

      I’m so glad you decided to leave this comment, because what that did was to inspire me in return, so thanks for that!

      Wishing you all the best with staying off the couch (look who’s talking :P)!

  3. This post gave me the kick I needed to sit down and write a short story all the way through in one day. I’ve never done anything like that before. It was challenging and very satisfying. Thank you!

    • Whoa. You have no idea how much your comment means to me. I’m so glad that you finished an entire short story so fast, and I hope you keep doing that too. Thank you!

  4. Pingback: To Write or Not To Write – Striving After Ink

  5. So true! We take other activities seriously, and then take writing “seriuosly,” and wonder why we’ve produced nothing in the last five years. You could double as a psychologist.

  6. Thanks for making the distinction between writing for fun and doing so for professional reasons. Not that you can’t have fun doing it professionally. There just seems like there would be more urgency and rigid standards in that case.

    • Yep. I feel like people shouldn’t be held to any standards if they’re just writing to relax. But turning pro involves a whole new set of rules, and I think that’s where people get divided between the ‘write every day’ and ‘wait for inspiration’ camps. Thanks for stopping by!

      • Yes, though they would need to abide my any rules if they posting on a social media platform. I am in the midst of doing a blog post on Free Speech on Twitter so am sensitive to the rule consideration. Oh, the writing skills are exceedingly rusty but as I get more inspiration the daily writing thing will return.

  7. I love that Ann Patchett quote! It’s so true that we need to put in the time with writing, like we would with any other skill. I’ve been trying to prioritize my writing more this year, but it is difficult with work, kids, other obligations…I have been working more diligently at putting in the time, though. And I always make time to read AKA study the craft. Great advice!

    • I’m right there with you, and I don’t even have kids. Something tells me I need to take my writing more seriously, because at this rate I’ll just be spouting hot air, lol.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. Here’s to improving our craft always!

  8. I belong to your disclaimer audience, but I think your points are great just the same. True, the hobbyist can do whatever they want, but if they are going to put that writing our for others’ eyes, hopefully they’ll follow at least some of your advice. Otherwise most of us won’t be able to stomach their writing.

    • You bring up a very good point. While writing can be done for the self, many bloggers forget that they’re actually performing when putting their posts up for the public. And when written in that regard, we need to make sure we’re not wasting our audience’s time.

      Hopefully those writers read your comment and take away a thing or two! Thanks so much for stopping by!

      • You know you’ve written a good post when one of your readers is thinking about it several hours later, which is what happened to me and your post this morning. Your comments about people thinking they can just write a book with no training is so true. I hadn’t thought about that before. That doesn’t happen with a lot of other professions. It made me think of teaching, which has a similar problem. People think that because they went to school as a student, they can armchair quarterback teaching – they think they know how to do it and that they can tell you how you should be doing it. I guess it’s the same with writing. Because most people have some experience with writing (e.g., in school) they think they know what they’re doing. Interesting.

      • True! Maybe that’s why so many people think they can fight too (or at least armchair critic), since maybe they’ve play wrestled with a sibling or something. Dunning-Kruger in action, for sure.

        And you really are sweet for saying that. Can’t say I’ve been told that people pondered over my posts before, so thank you for making my day!

  9. Pingback: This Is What You’d Do If You Took Your Writing Seriuosly – She Write Too

  10. What a great post and all your points are spot on! I’ve written for fun all my life. Now I’m getting more serious, writing daily, studying my craft doing my best to put out quality content. It will improve with practice as you said. I just signed up to get your newsletter and can’t wait to read about how to grow my blog. Thanks for another informative and interesting post.

    • That’s awesome that you’re taking it more seriously. Always stoked to learn that’s the case, and I wish you a fun time on your writing journey.

      You joined the newsletter in the nick of time, and you should’ve received this fortnight’s e-mail about hobbies (I publish every two Saturdays), but if you didn’t, just let me know and I’ll try to see if I can resend it just to you.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • I guess we have to be pedantic when it comes to writing, because we can’t have too many typos when it’s our craft, no? Thanks so much for stopping by, and feeling that instinct just means you’re a writer!

    • Yay! Glad to meet another gym rat here. I’m not really one per se, but I just try to exercise as much as I can, wherever I can, lol. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Wall of Text Warning!

    1) Training- Yes, definitely. I’ve actually taken a stretch of time off writing Aarde to write stupid stuff, because even weight lifters and other athletes take easy days. They don’t stop training, but sometimes you just need to spend time on the bike or treadmill’s leisure settings or hang out in the pool. And sometimes you need to write something stupid that makes little sense, but who cares because you’re giving your brain a break.

    2) Priorities- This is made easier when there is no social life. :D

    3) Cross Training- Funny enough, I did attempt to write a screenplay a few times (even bought books on screen writing), which also included video games. I was a huge Halo fan at the time so around Halo 3’s dominance I tried writing a script for an open world Halo game centered around UNSC marines. Three more were for movies: 1) six hitmen from different mobs going after one guy, 2) bounty hunters traveling across space to apprehend an arms dealer with a $2 trillion bounty; 3) a Texan fighting ninjas in Azerbaijan for reasons I long forgot (I think it was a parody of The Expendables?). But screenplays are a lot harder to write than people realize. So many restrictions. Much more fun to write an actual novel.

    4) Motivation- It sucks. Very unreliable and always coming at the wrong times. No use waiting for it. Nike was right when they said “Just do it”.

    5) Study the Craft- This is something I need to do better of. I got quite a bit of sci-fi books that need reading.

    • Love wall of texts, so I appreciate you taking the time to write them!

      Writing stupid things is the best way to keep the muscles supple. I enjoy writing the worst prose I can just for the heck of it.

      Lol I don’t have an exciting social life either, but if I did, I’d still slot in an hour somewhere in my day. Thankfully I’ve learned that I don’t need the recommended amount of sleep to function at my best, so there’s that.

      I’ve always been interested in scriptwriting. I might want to write one just for fun, just to experience telling a story with little fluff.

      Yup. Just do it indeed. I myself am still struggling with that from time to time.

      And it’s hard to actually study sometimes when we have to draw up our own syllabus. But that’s part of the life, yeah?

      Anyway, thanks so much for your wonderful comment, JB!

  12. I really enjoy the running analogy between writing and sports. Writing professionally isn’t solely based on a whim, but a marathon that requires tons of training and conditioning. I especially like the part about cross-training. Younger me would have never imagined that I’d write poetry or even be remotely interested in poetic forms, but it’s opened up a whole new world of techniques and possibilities for me to explore.

    Thanks for sharing another awesome post!

    • A ha. They say write what you know, right? Never did I know I’d connect sports and writing either, because looking at the way I grew up, it seemed like the only connection I could make was drinking and lazing.

      It’s so cool that you’re interested in poetry, and I can only imagine how that helps your prose, so thanks for sharing.

      And thanks for always stopping by!

  13. DAMN — Another amazing post, Stu! Right on the bat. (Did I just make up an idiom with something that has a ‘bat’ … well it’s quite far from hitting the nail on the head, but it’s much better than impaling your toe.)

    Loved every word, and I have to say I loved point 1 very much. And Patchett does seem to have a library of wisdom on the craft, even though next to something as concrete as On Writing I can’t see her getting the limelight on writing, hehe.

    “Before I end this post, I’d just like to add a late disclaimer that all these points don’t matter if you’re just writing for fun. You can do anything you want if it’s just a hobby.” Umm … well I still did find some things interesting I suppose … and, er, as a totally serious writer … All right, it was a load of abstractish waffle for me, but isn’t that what I love about reading Stuart Danker?

    (Double spacing between paragraphs because that’s what the pros, aka you, do.)

    The word on not waiting for motivation was excellent and can’t be stressed enough.

    Okay, just finished the post (yes I do write my comments bit-by-bit; did you think I have the patience to read one of your best posts this year, which is my opinion on every post, until the end before reaching the comment box?) — and I think it’s A REALLY GOOD ONE. Enough to compete with one of your most personal and my ultimate favorite (if I really had to pick one), If You’re Not Happy Where You Are You Won’t Be Happy Anywhere Else. (Or something along those lines.)

    P.S. My comments here get as many likes so as to compete with my actual posts, so if you’re not called Stuart Danker and you’re liking this, I would totes appreciate it if you had a look down my blog if you find my writing (even mildly) intriguing. The pros self-promote shamelessly, see?

    xox
    The Baroness of Olives

    P.S.S. (not the first time I would be wrong if it’s actually P.P.S. but let’s go with the flow) Grammarly thinks ‘xox’ isn’t right, and that it has to be ‘xoxo’. Who makes up their words, Mr. Know-it-All? I do, so I get to decide whether to be unique and drop that ‘O’ or to continue with the disgusting love pattern. Ugh. Thank you anyways for reading this long comment that was probably more fun to write than to read. G’day!

    • Another lovely comment from you. Welcome again and always great to see you here :)

      Oh yeah, Ann Patchett would definitely find it an uphill task to compete alongside the greats like On Writing, especially seeing how her book doesn’t even sound like one on the craft, but boy does she cover a ton of practical advice on writing.

      Am always humbled by your kind words, and truly appreciate them. And I appreciate your very relevant feedback too, as it’s rare that a reader would name a favourite post.

      I didn’t know that likes are a thing in the comments here (since this theme doesn’t display it), but I’ll add that if any readers are here on this comment, that you should definitely click on Olivia’s name to check out her site.

      Anyway, thanks once again for stopping by!

      • Lmao, conversations like these strengthen our friendship.

        Hmm … Likes are apparently a thing in all WordPress posts, unless you disabled them from the settings, but you’re right to say that your theme doesn’t support them; I think people like comments from the Reader. And lmao I have a feeling this comment will get zero likes for a change.

        No, thank ~you~ for responding and starting my day greatly!

  14. Where would the Olympics be if the athletes only trained whenever they were in the mood? What would you think of your doctor if he didn’t show up to the operation theatre because he ‘wasn’t feeling it’?

    I loved this particular bit of the post (because not feeling it is definitely an excuse the writer within likes to use to procrastinate); but then felt a little discouraged by the comments regarding posting daily to a blog. Now, I’m not arrogant enough to think that every post I write is a masterpiece (most are probably far from); but I do try to post at least every other day to my own blog, and try to ensure that those posts aren’t just drivel. In addition, adhering to a rigorous posting schedule forces me to exercise those writing muscles that sometimes just aren’t feeling it. Any thoughts on using a posting schedule to build writing muscle memory? (For lack of a better term.)

    • Posting daily is a real challenge, that’s for sure, so don’t feel discouraged at all, or compare yourself to the daily posters. Heck, even I would shy away at the fact of posting daily. Writing daily though? That’s another matter, and I recommend that diet to any writer, pro or casual.

      There’s no hard and fast rule for blogging. If you find that scheduling a.k.a. chunking a few posts into one writing session, then definitely do that. But all writing does build your literary muscles, even though you may not feel it. So that little sentence you jotted down just to play with words? That’s a workout. So is an entire blog post.

      Hope that helps, and if you need anything, just ask away! And thanks so much for stopping by with your wonderful comment!

  15. Great stuff, Stuart. And now, of course, you have me curious about Judo. :) My favorite line is “Nobody accidentally summits Mount Everest.” Haha. I feel like that should be framed and hung in every writer’s office.

    • Oh yeah. The moment I hear someone has trained in judo, I never stand up with them. It’s butt scooting for me. There’s just a certain amount of fear that goes along with knowing your opponent knows how to throw you around from standing. It’s either that or wrestling, which I wouldn’t mind learning.

      • I’ll bet you would do some serious butt scooting in wrestling, Stuart. From what I’ve heard, Jiu-Jitsu is better training.
        And now I know to be wary of Judo people! :P

  16. I feel terrible for not having caught the misspelling on the title 😳 butttt! I’m very used to reading things that have typos 😂 like my own posts (if it wasn’t for grammarly it would be illegible) lol like you said, you gotta train and I’m barely going to the gym 💪 lol. Of and the other thing a few paragraphs up, yeah i have no clue 😂 I am so happy to be following your blog, it’s so full of personality and I LOVE it. You are so talented 👏🏽🙌🏽

    • Oh wow, what a privilege to be able to read such supportive words from you. Well, we all have our pursuits to train in, and it looks like you’ve trained so much more in photography than I have, so there’s that.

      Thank you for making this writer’s day, and for being such a positive presence in the blogosphere!

  17. I remember this advice/feedback you gave to one of my posts, hence the urge to read the article as soon as i laid eyes upon it. No brainer then, that its crisp and so relevant for people like me and others who have decided to dive into the world of blogging.

    • Am always honoured when bloggers like you bring up our past interactions. Makes me feel like I can indeed put out some positive vibes into the blogosphere, just like how you’re doing the same with this comment. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  18. SO INSPIRING! I often come across people who say they just want to write, they don’t care what they write about but they just have an urge to write… and what I want to scream (in a kind way) at them is this: JUST START! JUST WRITE! And honestly, I was one of those people once too! And after having written for more than a year, I now don’t want to “just write about any old thing”… I want to tell relatable stories and use that to connect with others! I so get it!

    Also, I knew your typo in your title was totally staged hahaha I feel like I know you too well for that to happen LOL

    • Ahaha dang it, couldn’t trick you with the attempted clickbait, but I’m still glad you visited!

      I think you should scream at those people more, because it’s warranted. The ones that really grind my gears are those that say they’ll write something awesome once they have the time. Then next year they tell me the same thing. And the next. Spoiler alert: If you’re not going to start today, you won’t magically start tomorrow.

      Thanks so much for your lovely words, Jen! <3

  19. I like how you say we should sit down with our negative thoughts and write anyway. It’s kind of like meditation. Acknowledging the thoughts but also letting them go. I’ll try to keep that in mind.

    • It’s still something I’m working on, but boy is it an effective tool if I manage to hone my mind. Us writers tend to heed our minds too much, and that’s what make us good storytellers, but terrible livers of life, lol. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  20. Stuart, you never cease to amaze me!
    The first paragraph had me laughing, because my kids regularly refer to me as the “grammar police”.
    I have read “Bird by Bird” and “On Writing”, but have yet to read “The Getaway Car”. It will be added to my shopping cart shortly.
    You’re right when you say we need to exercise our writing muscles. All of them. I can journal in the evening for pages, but when I sit down to do a blog post or work on a book, I draw a blank. Why is that?
    And as I sit here commenting, I have thoughts on the blog posts I should be writing.
    Once again, food for thought for us writers. Thank you for sharing another entertaining yet enlightening post. :)

    • I totally get this. Ask me to do anything related to work like web content or internal e-mails and I can whip something up for you. But fiction doesn’t come as easily to me, and I suspect that’s because those muscles are rarely used, compared to the years of writing for corporate.

      But it’s so delightful that you get ideas once you start commenting here. Great feeling to be a positive place on the blogosphere. So sad that The Getaway Car isn’t readily available. Hopefully you find a copy somehow! Thanks so much for visiting, Diane!

  21. Beautiful! Another uplifting reminder that we do what we do because we can. I like all the helpful tips as well and will be implementing those in my writing practice.

  22. Guilty as charged Stu! I too had the “first instinct…to click on this post to tell me I spelt my title wrong” LOL!! But really this is yet another great post and at the end you nailed it. For there really is just one thing that matters. That we write. Just write. So no matter what, I shall strive to stick to that! Thanks for the reminder. [PS Now don’t kick me out of your mailing list when I say that there was one misspelled word in the para just before pt 5 *sheepish grin*]

    • Lol thanks for that! Now we know for sure that you take your writing seriously :P

      j/k that non-squiggly-lined typo flew right under the radar.

      I’m glad that my ‘clickbait’ is working, because I’ve got to be honest, it’s getting harder and harder to think of titles.

      Thanks once again for stopping by, Kelvin! Always great to see you here.

  23. I’m a hobby blogger but there is stuff here good for such a casual writer as myself. In order to put out something thoughtful, the blog post still needs structure, flow and good editing. Even if we were writing about something oxymoronic…as in something seriuosly funny 😁 , it needs to give just the right punch at the right time! Happy writing!

    • I think that’s the reason why I’m so taken by the humour genre. I remember reading Pratchett and realising how masterful someone can be, to trigger laughter just with words!

      Feels like I haven’t seen you in a while, Jeanne. Great to chat again!

  24. I’m still trying to find the missed word in the title. Ok can you see why my book’s not getting the time it needs. 🤪

    “And you’re not going to get there if you constantly put off your appointments with Google Docs.”

    I swear they keep cancelling on me. 😂

    Right now I don’t know if I’m coming or going with so many fires in the iron but you know I love all of these points.
    Trying to stay a float at the moment but I’m not taking up swimming I’m just a dunker there.
    Thanis for a great post as always Stuart! 💖

    • Lol I totally know how it feels when your writing apps cancel on you. I get them all the time too. Might need to collect a deposit first from now on.

      Lol funny you should mention swimming because I’ve just started exploring it, having not been able to swim for three decades or so. Here’s to staying afloat!

  25. Haha, the heading! I was like “ohhhh dear, spelling mistake”😅 Such valid points made here about writing Stuart and for motivating/inspiring others. I’ve said it before but I love your writing style 🙂🖋

    • Lol, that’s just me being clickbait-y without using actual clickbait. Glad it hooked your attention. Thanks so much for your kind words. You made my day once again, and it’s such a blessing to have more good days than bad thanks to comments like yours :)

  26. Although I generally write because it’s fun, it’s become like religion and climbing for me whereby I want to take it more seriously by taking it further exactly because I enjoy it so much.

    • It’s either a downward or upward spiral, isn’t it? Which is why I feel it’s important for us to find our ‘thing’. Once we do, excelling becomes easy, exactly because of what you’ve described: because you’d want to try more out of sheer enjoyment. Thanks so much for your lovely perspective!

  27. This was both a fun read and also totally spot-on. I really appreciate the way you approach writing in this post: a skill (or craft) that takes a long ass time to get better at. Thanks for the weekly motivation sir 😁

    • Thanks for the kind words! Should we all approach writing this way, we’ll stop asking questions like ‘should I write that book’ because the answer will always be ‘yes’ if we’re to better our craft. Thanks so much for stopping by, Matt!

  28. Great thoughts, analogies and wisdom, Stuart. The point about motivation made me think of the wonderful quote by Madeleine L’Engle. “Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.”

    • Oh wow, that’s a nice quote, because it’s so true! The amount of times I’ve motivated myself through the work instead of prior to doing it makes so much sense now. Thanks for stopping by!

  29. Thanks for sharing this post! I decided to start back blogging this time to see where it goes, even changing my schedule around to write more. Still figuring out my style and what kind of writing I want to do. Thank you for the inspiration. 😊😊😊😊😊

  30. I love this post so much, even more so because you intentionally spelled a word wrong and called it out (Unapologetic spelling snob here). All your points are practical and, well, straight up truth. This post might be the kick in the you know what I’ve been looking for…

    • I’m learning to evolve with the clickbait times, I guess. Glad the typo drew you in :P

      I appreciate your kind words, Jessica! Thanks so much for making my day.

      p.s. I clicked on your profile but it goes to a broken link. Just giving you a heads up in case you want to update your Gravatar account!

  31. You nailed it, “Respect for the craft.” I, too, used to flummox and spout when people said how easy writing was or “why aren’t you done yet?” It’s easy to spot those with respect for the craft. These days, I just smile and say, “That’s nice,” when someone tells me they’re writing a book. When they talk to me about the work involved, then I listen and discuss.

    • Oh yes! It’s exactly like the people who tell me ‘I’m going to eat healthy and exercise regularly’ for the nth time. I just nod and say ‘You’ve got this!’

      But it’s when they start delving into details—like wanting to know which healthy foods can fill them up longer—that I start getting interested and cheering them on more, since it shows they’ve been doing the work and aren’t just spouting hopeful goals.

      Great point you’ve shared there, so thanks for that!

  32. You nailed it again but this time with the title. Writing is hard work, in summary. That is why when I joined a daily writing challenge, I resorted to updating some of the previous posts. It’s not easy to do it daily sans a well-researched topic.

    • Yeah, daily writing is a whole other beast, since it gives you less time for research AND editing. You’re awesome for keeping up with that schedule. Thanks for making the time to stop by too!

    • Oh wow, that’s a lovely way to put it, and I don’t believe I’ve ever felt so happy for being compared to warm butter on toast. Perhaps YOUR comment is like warm butter on toast :P

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      • And the bread is fresh and crispy on the edges! I love your content, it’s very inspirational and helpful. I always get something out of it but it’s really the way that you express your ideas that keeps me coming back.

      • ☺️ you really do know how to make a writer’s day. Turns out, you don’t just make sidewalk faces, but you also make smiley faces on people across the world!

  33. So, the mistake in the title was deliberate. Nice way to catch the attention of the reader, since I would have totally would have pointed to you in the comments, and then felt bad for doing so.

    Thanks for increasing my pile of books to be read. I hope you’re happy with yourself.

    I’m currently going through a sort of slump, where I feel lazy, and don’t want to do anything. But you know what? I still open the word processor every day, and try to write as much as I could. So what if I’m not writing 1000 words every day? At a time like this, few hundred words are good enough. I can always pick up the steam later.

    • Oh you could do much worse than read The Getaway Car, that’s for sure. In fact, I prefer it to other books on the craft. And this is despite me not generally liking literary fiction, which she writes in.

      And great on you for doing the work regardless. The way I see it is you could entertain your slump and not have anything at the end of the day, or you could have a bunch of words that you may or may not use. And you’ve certainly picked the right choice.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Tanish! Always great to have you here.

      • Eh you’re right. I didn’t notice that. Perhaps I got it and read it during a time when it was more readily available. I can’t search for any place that sells it now, sadly.

  34. Thanks for sharing! I like the idea of trying new types of writing like technical and business writing. I feel like learning different types of writing can help you grow. I also agree, you need to just write. Blogging helps with that.

    • Gotta be honest with you, I don’t think I’ll ever want to write business pieces again, lol. Ditto anything corporate like press releases or annual reports.

      But yeah, always great to try new things to see what sticks. Thanks so much for stopping by, by the way!

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