Three eternal truths about living and writing

A friend of mine shared this On Being link recently on social media (thank you, Susan!):

Three Eternal (So Far) Truths about Living and Writing by Parker J. Palmer.

I love this piece! It spoke to me on a number of levels, but the part I really needed to hear was this:

First, you need to figure out whether your chief aim is to write or to publish. Two decades of rejection letters would have shut me down if I hadn’t decided early on that my primary goal was not to be published but to be a writer — a person who, as someone sagely observed, is distinguished by the fact that he or she writes! Once it became clear that I wanted to write even if the publishing fairy never left a contract under my pillow, I could declare success as long as I kept writing. That’s a doable goal, and it’s under my control.

I think part of why I keep getting flustered by people’s constant queries about “how’s the writing coming?” is that there is this expectation hanging out there that I will create A Book.

I think in order to maintain my sanity and enable myself to continue to write without hitting a huge wall made of writer’s blocks, I need to focus on my definition of success as being “a person who writes.”

When a friend asked the other day about my writing, I noted that I was regularly writing blog posts (well, not as regularly as I would like), but, somewhat defensively, said that I hadn’t made progress towards a particular writing goal.

But I am writing! I AM A WRITER! There. I said it.

And perhaps that “getting out there” will lead to point number two in the article – blind luck. Opportunity can’t knock if you don’t have a door. Or something like that.


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