Karen Nimmo in “On the Couch” wrote that the The Most Unsexy, Under-rated Secret of Success is consistency.
Yep. And she’s calling that unsexy.
“I know, you’re rolling your eyes: I’ve seen my clients do it. “Consistency” as a concept lacks verve; even the word is boring. (And no-one rates consistency in a partner until they’ve been messed up by an inconsistent one!)”
“But the truth is consistency rules — in your job, your art, your relationships, your friendships, your health habits, your knowledge, your interests.”
“And the danger in a volatile world is that we’re destabilised, that we lose our good habits, that we lose faith in what we know is good and true.”Karen Nimmo
So, she’s right. The whole reason I’m successful at writing is that I’m consistent as hell. I work every single day usually. I work on other people’s stories and my own. Our podcast has had over 250,000 downloads and that’s not because it’s any good. It’s because we do it every single week. We’re still married because Shaun unloads the dishwasher every morning.
I know tons of brilliant minds, brilliant writers who haven’t published yet (and want to) because they haven’t been consistent and finished their stories and done the work to get there. There’s no one way to be a writer, but one thing that really helps is actually consistently writing.
So, Nimms who is a communication genius and a lovely writer has some helpful hints about how to be consistent. That we’re going to share with you.
First she says:
“Just Aim to ‘Get Good.’”
That’s pretty easy right? Don’t try to be Lance Armstrong, but if you want to be a bicyclist, ride your bike all the time. Don’t try to be Homer, but if you want to write an epic poem about the gods, write as much as you can.
Her second bit of advice is a bit harder.
“Show Up Even When You Don’t Want To.”
That’s the whole ‘butt in chair’ adage that all writing teachers tell all writers. In order to write the story, you have to sit down and actually write the story. This helpful hint is a lot like the first helpful hint, isn’t it? Practice makes you better. You don’t get results if you don’t do the work.
Her other hints are also lovely, but my favorite is this one:
“Tuck your feelings on a high shelf.”
“‘Just being there is ninety-nine percent of what matters when your world falls apart.’― Holly Goldberg SloanHolly Goldberg Sloan as quoted by Karen
“Our moods and feelings are valid, especially now, but we can’t afford to let them govern everything. Especially when we’re struggling with motivation. So don’t ask yourself how you’re feeling before taking action. Just schedule it and follow through.”Karen Nimmo
She tells us not to quit even when everything sucks and there’s a pandemic and not to compare yourself to all those brilliant other people who have been consistent and are already successful. She says that you’re allowed to think, “Damn, I don’t want to be a writer anymore.” You can do something different, go after something else.
Writing Tip of the Pod:
Be consistent even if it isn’t sexy and even if it is.
Dog Tip for Life:
Sparty the Dog says that you might feel unsexy when you are reliable, but it gets you treats. Be reliable. Do the work. Sit on command.
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.
WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.
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LAST WEEK’S EPISODE about slug bait, sages and archetypes.
Last week’s bonus podcast with Jessica Burkhart!
COME WRITE WITH ME!
I coach, have a class, and edit things. Find out more here.
NEW BOOK OF AWESOME- THE PLACES WE HIDE
I have a new book out!!!!!! It’s an adult mystery set in the town where we live, which is Bar Harbor, Maine. You can order it here. And you totally should.
And if you click through to this link, you can read the first chapter!
And click here to learn about the book’s inspiration and what I learned about myself when I was writing it.
NEW SESSION OF WRITE! SUBMIT! SUPPORT!
These six-month courses offer structure and support not only to our writing lives but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions. We offer support whether you’re submitting to agents or, if agented, you’re weathering submissions to editors. We discuss passes that come in, submissions requests, the feedback we aren’t sure about, where we are feeling directed to go in our writing lives, and more.
|Find out if WSS is right for you at this FREE WEBINAR on Thursday July 23rd, from 7-8:30pm CDT.Founder Bethany Hegedus will share an inspiring talk on the literary life and will be joined by WSS instructors/TA’s, plus past and present WSS writers who will answer all your burning questions!|
This is a great opportunity to meet this session’s faculty, talk with previous students about their growth throughout the program and participate in some inspirational activities led by Bethany Hegedus. *If you cannot attend live, no need to worry! All registrants will receive a video playback of the event!