80 Days to Betterness

Using the internet to teach myself things. 8 topics. 10 days each.




The beauty of this project is I'm forced to make progress even if I feel uninspired. I have to show up and write this stupid post whether or not I have something interesting to say. I'll admit. Some days are duds. Some days I discover an unforgettable person or work of art. Other days, I just read that morsel of advice I need in that moment.

I had no idea what to do for today. I felt tired. The world is exhausting at the moment. My year's subscription to Masterclass is a fallback on days like this. I'll click through random clips until I find something that sticks.


Neil Gaiman's class had a helpful video about the "Rules for Writers." His "rules," which he has adopted from other writers that he admires, can be hastily summed up as: finish what you start, put it in front of somebody and move on to the next thing. He goes on to reiterate that writing is a struggle. Strangely, this has coincided with a passage I came across recently in rereading Verlyn Klinkenborg's great book, "Several Short Sentences about Writing".


The idea of writer's block, in its ordinary sense,
Exists largely because of the notion that writing should flow.
But if you accept that writing is hard work,
And that's what it feels while you are writing,
then everything is as it should be.
Your labor isn't a sign of defeat.
It's a sign of engagement.
The difference is all in your mind, but what a difference.

I needed to read this. I've been getting back into the saddle of writing and it has made my mind feel like molasses. And turned me in a cowgirl, apparently.