Writing equals life.
No, really, it does. If you are a writer, you will know this... or, at least, you'll know it as soon as you read through this explanation. You'll think to yourself (because who else would you think it to), Writing is totally like life, just as she says.
Here's how they are alike:
1. Life gets overwhelming, especially when you see the piles of stuff you have to do. If you start working on the tasks though, allowing yourself the occasional bathroom break or trip to the grocery store, life is a whole lot less overwhelming.
Writing is the same. Write a little bit--even a page--and suddenly a whole novel, play, or essay becomes that much more doable. The key is to get started and just do it.
2. People will criticize the way you live all the time, telling you all the things you should be doing in your life, along with all the things you should NOT be doing. And some of their advice will be really good, some not so good, and some downright awful. How can you tell the difference? The easiest way is to weigh each piece of advice against who you are, what you believe in, and what you want to be. Reject the advice that has no appeal, but humbly accept the stuff that helps you live better.
Writing is the same. In fact, let me just take this previous paragraph, replacing living with writing, and you'll see:
People will criticize the way you write all the time, telling you all the things you should be doing in your writing, along with all the things you should NOT be doing. And some of their advice will be really good, some not so good, and some downright awful. How can you tell the difference? The easiest way is to weigh each piece of advice against who you are, what you believe in, and what you want to be. Reject the advice that has no appeal, but humbly accept the stuff that helps you write better.
3. Life is a journey, not a destination. It's not about where you end up, but how you get there, and the process itself should not be torturous. If you hate ever second of running, you wouldn't run, so spend your time being joyful and finding adventures that elate and inspire you, not that make you miserable. It's why we don't work 120 hours a week. Forty is plenty. We need the other hours to do what we love.
Writing is the same. Yes, there may be parts that are harder or less enjoyable--like marketing your book (if you're an introvert) or revising (if it seems tedious)--but treat those ickier parts like the "work" parts, and always mix in some of the fun stuff, the writing exercises or activities you really enjoy. If you hate everything about writing, then you should go find another activity. Go surfboarding, or kite flying, or paint. Life's too short to be utterly miserable.
4. Life isn't perfect. It's practice, and every day you can get just a little better if you work at it. Got depression? You have ways to lessen its effects. Got an arm in a cast? It's in a cast now, but it will heal? Did your last significant other dump you? He/she was probably a big jerk anyway, and you can use this time to heal, figure out your role in the failed relationship, and do better when a better person comes along. It's all about practicing, and while practicing will never make perfect, it will make you stronger, smarter, and happier.
Writing is SO the same. No perfect writing exists, nor does the perfect writer. Practice, though, can go a long way. Every hour spent writing, even if its spent on a manuscript that will never been seen by anyone, is not a waste. Each step builds your skill, teaches you something, and brings you that much closer to changing the world, one reader at a time.
5. Your life can inspire others. Even people with short lives--brave kids with cancer, young people in car accidents who donated their organs--inspire us with their bravery and sacrifice. A person's life affects other lives deeply, and yours can too. Live your life as an example, live your truth bravely, and others will be changed from knowing you.
Do I have to say writing is the same? Writing is an intimate form of communication with another individual, and your writing can change things. It can change your own attitude, it can change the minds of readers. It can change the world.
So get out there and live. Write. Speak. Listen. Share. Do great things.
Change the world.