Often perfectionism is a problem because it's the shortest way to burnout, depression, and strained relationships. The problem with perfectionism isn’t that it can’t help you reach important goals. It’s that even on those occasions you reach a goal, you never feel satisfied. In fact, there’s always something that needs more honing. Something waiting to be improved. As a result, on the long run perfectionism undermines your self-esteem. In addition, you often risk coming across as a perfect jerk. To your spouse, your children, and your friends — that’s to say, if you still have any. But, … [Read more...] about Why Perfectionism Is a Problem – What to Do About It
The art of writing is the art of problem solving. In fact writers have to continually find the most effective way to give shape, through their words, to the heterogeneous amalgam of thoughts, emotions, memories, perceptions, morals, etcetera churning in their heads. As a result, every sentence -- even every single word -- is a tentative solution to such intimidating a task. A tentative solution that inevitably presents a series of problematic aspects. At first blush you could think that, as a writer, before you put pen to paper you should have something to say, and a reason to say it in a … [Read more...] about Why the Art of Writing Is a Journey Inside Yourself — but Not of the Kind You Might Think
I don’t like to write, but like having written -- This is one of the most famous quotes about writing, and it's often attributed to Dorothy Parker. As a matter of fact, although she too said it, this quote remounts to the beginning of the twentieth century, and innumerable writers have used it at one time or another. The fact is that while on one hand writing is a complex task, on the other it is also an extremely personal endeavor. As a result it can't be easily pigeonholed. As a matter of fact for most writers writing can feel blissfully effortless on some days and a dreadful and … [Read more...] about Should Writing Energize or Exhaust You?
Quotes can be gold mines of encapsulated knowledge. However, given their nature, you should always consider them with a grain of salt. For example, Stephen King writes that the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and yet he himself uses a fair number of such nefarious adverbs in his works. Not only, to make his point he even uses adverbs in the very passage he advises against their use... I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one in your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you … [Read more...] about Toying with Quotes to Improve Your Writing
Have you ever noticed? If you try to walk on a line painted on the ground and that's about a foot wide, you can do it right away. In fact, everybody who doesn’t suffer from any particular illness affecting their walking and balancing can do it. You only have to pay a bit of attention, and that's all. But the moment you have to walk on top of a wall that is just as wide as the painted line but ten meter high, things change remarkably. All of a sudden, a task everybody considered so easy as to verge on triviality, becomes a difficult feat. Indeed, a feat so difficult that a large part of … [Read more...] about The Forgotten Art of Choosing — Doors to Close
As I wrote in a previous post, I believe every writer would benefit from note taking. However, it's also undeniable that you can have too much of a good thing. In fact if you take notes for just about everything you come across and find even slightly interesting, you would end up literally swimming in a sea of loosen notes, post-its, and notepads. If you had endless stamina and time at your disposal you could dive into this sea and go fishing for tasty literary preys. But given that we live in a universe where our human resources are limited, we have to accept the ugly truth. Namely, that … [Read more...] about A Simple Way to Sift Ideas and Choose the Best Ones