sallyhanan’s blog

A writer’s blog

Values v. Ideals December 5, 2008

Filed under: Business advice,Writing — sallyhanan @ 5:45 pm
Tags: , ,

As a writer, there are probably millions of creative ideas that go through your mind on an hourly basis, and not one of them sees the light of day unless you are in front of your computer typing out the word pictures and titles that accompany them. Ideas for novels, articles, movie scripts, and short stories  whirl and swirl around the gray matter but all of them lack one thing–action.

There is a difference between having a value for writing or in having writing ideals. Ideals are all the things you want to do, should do, or beat yourself up over not doing. Ideals are all those ideas you brag about (to yourself, because no one else cares) for being so darned creative. Values are those things that you dream up and then actually make time for and do.

You can see how successful you are/will be, as a writer, based on what you are more of–an idealist or one who acts on values. With an Excel spreadsheet, write out in the left column all of the things you want to do as a writer, e.g. I want to write fiction that makes people gasp in visual participation; I want to write non-fiction articles that make readers get up off their chair and go and do that thing they have been avoiding for months; I want to write at least one line of writing a day; every time I have a thought I want to write it down on my scribble pad;  etc.

In the right hand column, place a V or I beside each desire. “V” means that you have given time and action to the desire; “I” means that you have done nothing with it. Once you have completed the exercise, you will clearly see one of two things–either you are a lazy slob who talks to yourself a lot but gets nothing done, or you are someone who manages to give time and focus to good ideas and has a slight chance of seeing your name in print on a regular basis.

I believe that most writers live in both camps, except for those sickening few who are as organized as Miss. Moneypenny. Sickening and all as they may be, they are the ones whose writing you will be reading next month/next year. Maybe you are a better writer than they are, maybe you are the world’s next famous novelist, but we may never know….


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