GUIDELINES FOR WORKSHOPS
1. Set a realistic schedule for the week; an unrealistic schedule only insures
disappointment and frustration-allies of that negative voice inside
your head. A schedule, of say a minimum of five hours a week, will
encourage consistency and momentum. If you miss an hour one day, make
it up the following day. Even staring at a blank page is working, thinking
2. Create a private, personal workspace, where the atmosphere
induces creativity. Eliminate distractions. Inform friends not to disturb
you during work hours. If your attitude, or mood, is directed toward
writing, writing is much easier.
3. Chose ambitious subjects to write about, subjects that
challenge you. Ten pages of connected, substantial work are worth 1000
pages of disconnected work. Each paragraph or stanza of substance represents
real progress; aim at quality, not quantity. You'll be surprised to
see the progress and accumulation of pages after six months of consistent,
4. Don't worry about progress. It'll take care of itself.
5. If you follow these steps rigorously on a consistent
basis over a period of time, you're bound to discover a voice, a tone,
that's original. Progress will come. Take my word for it.
6. Writing is hard but also fun. When one works in an
unorganized manner, one often spends most of his or her energy working
against oneself, worrying instead of actually writing.
7. Teach yourself to appreciate every little pleasure.
The big secret is that writing can be enjoyable. It's the obstacles
one creates that cause the grief. If a subject becomes impossible to
deal with, leave it and find another less resistant one. Try to work
at the same level of connection when you move to a different subject.
Shift subjects, not level of feeling.
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