I believe many of us are living our writing lives at a minimal level. We never seem to want to excel or do anything above what we’ve been doing for many years. We fall into habit ruts that keep us stuck in a groove that doesn’t help us grow as a writer or be our best.
So, to excel in our writing lives and do more than the minimum, we need to consciously assess our writing lives from time to time to see how we are really doing. This takes honesty and a willingness to be our best. We must want to do more than just what we have always done. We must want to be our best. And we must demand excellence from ourselves.
When we only do the minimum in our writing life, we live only by doing the minimum—i.e., completing some of our writing goals, writing in the same genre as we always did, and just trying to carry on, even if we feel dried up and unfruitful. In other words, we will be going through the motion of our writing lives. In order for us to grow as a writer and to be our best, we must do all the things that require us to write beyond the minimum.
But this isn’t easy. However, it is far better than drifting through our writing lives in a maze of uncertainty and fruitlessness, where the only thing we want to do are the actions that we have always done in the same order and in the same way because its easiest.
So, are you ready to be an excellent writer? We all have it in us to be such a writer. All it takes is to rethink how we do things and to move past what is usual and mundane.
We can become more excellent and crash through the minimum by:
- Taking courses and workshops.
- Trying to write in other genres.
- Finishing what we start.
- Assessing how we are doing in our writing career and making small tweaks here and there to make things better.
- Try to stretch ourselves as writers.
Being excellent in your writing life will mean different things for different people. It usually involves really reflecting on where you want to be in our writing life 2, 3, and 5 years from now. Even if your response is vague right now, that’s okay. It will give you something to aim for and it will rip you out of the morass of mediocrity.
Irene S. Roth