The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

K is for K

(Yep, I know, I skipped "J")

That is, "One Thousand." My impression at this
point is that a daily goal of 1000 words a day is
enough to keep the gateway between conscious
and unconscious minds open and healthy.
To a certain degree, this is just dredging out a
channel, understanding that the constant pressure
of the workaday world, and all of the trivial and
non-trivial demands on our time and minds, will
cloud this connection.
It is close to the dream state, you see. The
creative part of your mind is so primal, so
young, so outside of social conventions that
it is, or can be, extremely difficult to access
it and simultaneously keep our lives in balance.
But if you aim at writing 1000 words (or 5 pages,
or some other quantity that is a "stretch" but
not too painful), while simultaneously meditating,
clarifying your values and goals, and increasing
the quality of your reading...
Good things are going to happen. Our minds
(from one, admittedly mechanistic viewpoint)
are machines designed to succeed. Continue
telling it what you want (in this case: increased
quality of writing that reflects our deep values
and most honest perception of the world)
and it will start trying to give it to you.
Continue this process for a couple of years,
and you'll be in completely new territory.
You see, so much of success in anything is
a numbers game. You simply have to do "X"
an unknown number of times before you
jump up to the next level of performance.
And you have no idea what "X" represents.
So for the sake of simplification, let's say
that the number in writing is One Million
Words. Get beyond a million words, and
you are at a different place with your writing,
your ability to represent the reality you
experience, and so forth. It is the doorway
to spontaneous, instinctive, reflexive writing.
Now...if you are constantly challenging
yourself with fine reading and/or viewing
of quality books, stories, plays, and films...
Then you will find that your work slowly,
surely, simply gets better and better.
Another thing: most people aren't ready for
the truth of how much WORK is necessary
to become excellent at anything. They think
that if they try it, and don't succeed, that
there is no point in trying again.
That means that if you have more gumption,
more tolerance for failure and emotional pain
than the next can actually
out-perform a more "talented" person just
because you had the ability to "step up to
the plate" again and again and again...until
your hands were raw and your heart ached,
but you just wouldn't quit.
I'm telling you that people with that quality
simply can't be stopped. And that you can
train yourself to head in that direction...
By committing to write a thousand words a

Write With Passion!

No comments: