A person without a vision will never reach their intended destination. Vision is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful. It helps you attain believable goals on a daily basis as you march toward the completion of your dream. It keeps you motivated during rough times. Those without vision wander through life aimlessly. Grab a vision for yourself and begin working to make it happen.
It feels so good to come home after a long day of work and plop down on the couch to watch my favorite television shows and bury myself in social media. Why must laziness feel so good. It should at least hurt a little.
There are lots of productive things I should be doing with my free time, but laziness keeps me from doing so many of them. It saps my motivation. Laziness is comparable to a disease. It slowly eats away at my core and leaves me a shell of my former self. It’s the ultimate dream killer.
I must kill this laziness seed before it grows any further.
Today I’d like to write about a topic that’s dear to my heart: reading.
In a perfect world, I’d spend every evening curled up with a good book. The reality is that I rarely have enough time to read for leisure.
Well that changed on yesterday.
While riding out of town with my wife I was finally able to catch up on Great American Short Stories: From Hawthorne to Hemingway, an anthology of works from some of the most distinguished writers in the American short story tradition. I purchased this book several weeks ago, but had done little with it. It was refreshing to flip through its pages while taking in the cool breeze from the window I had rolled down.
I’ve always been fascinated with reading. I’m the type of person who finds it impossible to leave out of a bookstore without something in my hands. Even in college, I was more comfortable staying in the dorm reading than going out to party with friends.
My goal is to incorporate more reading into my daily schedule. This doesn’t mean reading the newspaper or information relating to my job. I’m talking about reading for the fun of it.
Not only is reading exciting, but it’s a necessity for becoming a good writer. When I come across a particularly strong phrase in a book or article, I’ll draw a circle around it so that I can refer to it later. These passages serve as motivation for the level of writing I’d like to attain someday.
If you wish to become a better writer, it’s best to pick up a good book.
“You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there’s no free lunch. Writing is work. It’s also gambling. You don’t get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but essentially you’re on your own. Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine.”- Margaret Atwood
My interpretation: Writing isn’t easy. The quicker you come to grips with this truth, the better off they will be in the long run. There is no guarantee that the manuscript you’re slaving over will become a best seller. There is no guarantee that the blog post you’re pouring your soul into will go viral.
You can read every piece of writing advice until you feel confident enough to write the next Great American Novel. But at the end of the day you have to stop getting motivated and start putting pen to paper. It could take hours. It may require you to miss out on birthday parties and other special life moments. But it must be done if you’re remotely serious about becoming great at this.
I usually feel a sense of dread rush over me whenever I sit down to perform the deed. I’ll purposefully distract myself by checking my social media accounts. But then I begin typing. My first couple of lines may be choppy. But as long as I keep at it I know I’ll eventually produce something that’s worth reading, even if I’m the only one who thinks so.
No one is forcing me to do this. All of the pressure is 100% self imposed. I wouldn’t have it any other way.