magic starSummarize by Aili

You Don’t Need to Write Every Day to Be a Great Writer

🌈 Abstract

The article discusses the importance of patience, persistence, and taking the time to develop one's writing skills, rather than rushing to produce large volumes of content quickly. It emphasizes that good writing takes time, practice, and a focus on improving one's craft, rather than just chasing fame or success.

🙋 Q&A

[01] The Importance of Patience and Persistence in Writing

1. What are the key points the author makes about the importance of patience and persistence in writing?

  • The author emphasizes that it took them 15 years of steady, consistent writing to find their voice and style, and decades from their first published poem to feel confident in their writing.
  • They argue that good writing takes persistence and time, and that one doesn't get better by just writing more, but by writing over time.
  • The author criticizes the impatience and desire for quick success that they see in others, arguing that there is no race or competition, only the work of improving one's craft.

2. How does the author contrast the approach of "volume-writing" with their own approach to writing?

  • The author states that they don't have the time or energy to "volume-write" because it would take them away from the work of making their writing better and living their life.
  • Instead, the author focuses on being exceptional at what they do, rather than just becoming famous, and on creating pieces that "linger" and "pull at the reader" rather than churning out SEO-optimized content.
  • The author argues that volume-writing is a tactic, not a strategy, and that a writer is always writing even if they aren't producing new work, as they are forming ideas, honing their voice, and reading/studying other writers.

[02] The Importance of Process and Strategy in Writing

1. How does the author describe their own writing process and strategy?

  • The author describes a detailed process of thinking about characters, researching and outlining, creating timelines and character sketches, playing out scenes in their head, speaking lines aloud, editing extensively, reading and analyzing the work of writers they admire, and letting their work rest before further editing.
  • They emphasize that they take their time because they are writing for the long haul, not for "fickle algorithms or a parade of cool kids or a platform that might not exist in five years."
  • The author keeps their "eyes on [their] own paper" and focuses on their own growth as a writer, rather than comparing themselves to others.

2. How does the author contrast this approach with the "generic advice" they see from others online?

  • The author criticizes "random advice-givers on the internet" who fail to recognize individual circumstances and journeys, and who assume their advice can be easily replicated.
  • They argue that this generic advice often promotes "impossible-for-most tasks" and "quick, simple solutions" that don't account for the time and effort required to truly develop one's writing skills.
  • The author states that it's "not sexy" to tell people to go at their own pace and do the hard work over time, but that this is ultimately what is required to find one's voice and become a better writer.
Shared by Daniel Chen ·
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