The Daily Write! and also…Following Your Instincts as a Writer

30 Jul

Write every day.

So I have two topics to share today in the form of a quick, short post. The first is that I’ve decided to commit to writing by spending at least one hour of every day writing fiction, what I’m calling “The Daily Write!” I know that sounds corporate and dumb, but giving my goals a title somehow makes it more official. I’m going to self-motivate, I’m going to commit. If Joshua Ferris can write up to 14 hours a day, then I can write for at least one hour. I’m starting today.

The second is this rather excellent blog post from writer and 2012 Squaw Valley faculty member Gregory Spatz. A few things that I appreciated about this blog post were that Spatz was stubborn enough to send a short story to 53 different literary magazines and journals before it was finally published, and he didn’t make any revisions to the story, despite personal rejections from various editors with very different suggestions as to how he could improve the piece. I like to think of that as following your instincts as a writer; it’s something that’s important to remember, both in a workshop setting and when you do finally send your work out for publication.

Spatz has that arrogance I mentioned in an earlier post, and I do think it’s important to have that as a writer. You have to believe in yourself in an almost haughty way to withstand the dozens and dozens (hundreds?) of rejections and putdowns you’ll receive over the course of a career. Spatz says the following about being a writer:

“I had the mistaken idea that from here on my work would only get better, faster and easier.  I didn’t understand yet how good and bad stories have an ongoing, back-and-forth symbiosis in a writer’s life; you don’t get one without the other.  Good work grows out of bad work, and vice versa.   In most ways, I didn’t have the bigger picture–a necessary blindness probably, otherwise I might not have cleaved so tenaciously to the other really important thing I was beginning to understand:  that through it all, whatever happens, you have to plug on.  Persist.”

Persist. Even when the rejections are piling up, even when it seems like the work you’re doing isn’t good enough.

4 Responses to “The Daily Write! and also…Following Your Instincts as a Writer”

  1. Tracy Staedter July 31, 2012 at 7:15 am #


    • E.M. July 31, 2012 at 9:30 am #

      That’s right! I did my hour last night, although I was disappointed that I didn’t push myself harder and write more. But I did manage to write a scene with dialogue, which I consider a mini-success. Now if only I didn’t hate the story I’m working on…

  2. sbemagx August 3, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    you touched on it in relation to joshua ferris: success is never just talent alone. looking forward to seeing more of your work!

    • E.M. August 9, 2012 at 9:09 pm #


      Looking forward to seeing more of your work, too. I wrote a flash piece recently that I think you’d maybe like. I sent it to Monkeybicycle and am waiting to hear back before sending it elsewhere.

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Tracy Staedter

Science writing, editing and workshops is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

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