“Work hard. Keep at it.”
I saw that Hugh MacLeod quote at WordCandy.me the other day. Why, I’m even the one who put it there.
It’s a good quote, and true.
But it’s also deceptive. Working hard works for a while, but over time you begin to see diminishing returns by working hard in the same ways. This is why diets fail. It’s why businesses fail. It’s why writers… well, you know: fail to grow.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and not just because I’m reading The Plateau Effect: Getting from Stuck to Success. I work with many writers. I have been an active part of the blogosphere (or was). Some of these writers grow. Some do not. Admit it, you might be tired of reading the ones who haven’t grown.
I’m being honest. But I want you to hear the gentleness of my tone. Because I care about writers. I’m asking: do you really want to be a writer? I mean, a good writer? Even a great writer?
Then you have to do more than work hard. You need to introduce new ways of working.
At Tweetspeak Poetry, we are all about giving you those new ways to work.
Here are 3 ways we help you get off your writing plateau:
1. We offer a poem a day. Reading poetry every day helps a writer absorb a sense of rhythm, develop a sense of image-based writing, and discover the surprising nuances of words
2. We have a new Poets & Writers Toolkit feature, where you can try out techniques for working your writing.
3. We offer top-notch writer’s workshops. Two right now:
Fiction Jumpstart (great for writers who’ve been working in other genres and need to work hard in a new genre as a way to shake things up, or terrific for writers who want to work with a best-selling author who knows how to help writers get past plateaus)
How to Think Like a Creative Genius (best for writers who need to develop their voice or give themselves permission to tackle things they’ve been hesitant to tackle; also great for learning how to find ideas and playfully follow them. Plus, it never hurts for a writer to learn how to think like a Creative Genius.)
As a writer, you can work hard and keep at it and effectively be staying in the same place. Or you can work hard and keep at it by working in new ways.
We love great writing. We know which option we hope you’ll choose, if you want to grow.
Photo by the sea the sea. Creative Commons, via Flickr. Post by L.L. Barkat.