[process] Practice, and psychotic persistence

has a very good post from a few days ago, concerning practice. Go read it.

Her post is an example of synchronicity, because a few days later, The Boston Globe published this article on grit that talks about much the same thing.

Both of which in turn remind me of my own theory of “psychotic persistence” [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]. (I mentioned this connection recently in Link Salad.)

No matter how you cut it, this writing game is all about doing it, and doing it more. That’s why all the writing advice I have ever given boils down to “write more”. In my case, I write more by watching tv not at all, DVDs/videos very little, movies rarely, gaming never, etc. etc. etc. I’ve taken a lot of things I enjoy out of my life in order to do something I enjoy even more — writing, and having written. It’s a sacrifice I’ve made, and joyfully so. (In case you missed it, has a different take on those choices here, btw.)

And I don’t think anyone can accuse me of being a dry stick. I have a lot of fun, and I basically do what I want in life. But I got to this point by years and years of grit, practice and psychotic persistence.

What’s your practice?

6 thoughts on “[process] Practice, and psychotic persistence

  1. Cora says:

    TV and movies are one thing I could never give up for writing, because they are fodder for the story engine. I need a constant input of narrative to produce narrative. And since I’m a visual person, at least some of that must be visual. However, only very good movies or TV programmes get my undivided attention. Usually, I do something else on the side. Actually, that can even spawn stories. Doing translation work while a bad “Help! The monster shark will eat us” film was on TV sparked an idea for an SF story.

    However, I have given up playing videogames entirely (not that I ever was much of a gamer to begin with), because it was just a waste of time for me with no writing benefits. I’ve given up keeping a diary, because if I’m going to write I’d rather write something someone else might read one day. I have cut down on other arty/crafty things I used to do such as quilting, crocheting, drawing, etc…, though I won’t give up on them completely, because sometimes the creative mind needs something other than writing to do.

    I no longer stay at social events I do not enjoy out of politeness. When I want to go home and write, I excuse myself and go home. I’m also single and childless by choice (which doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with writing), so there’s no family needing attention other than my parents.

    So it’s up to the individual writer what he or she will give up for writing. Otherwise I agree with you that the important thing is to keep writing no matter what. Since I started tracking my daily wordcount three and a half years ago, I’ve only missed my admittedly modest minimum goal once.

    1. Jay says:

      It works for you.

      Your comment about other creative pursuits is important, I think. Photography is my second creative pursuit. I do get that, very much so. I wish I had more music in my hands and voice, though. It’s certainly in my soul.

  2. Cora says:

    I love your Zen photos.

    Music is actually one of those other creative pursuits that largely fell by the wayside. Sometimes I do sit down at the old piano, but I very rarely play these days. Music is one area where even with persistence I could never be more than mediocre, because I just don’t have enough raw talent.

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