Showing posts with label pep talk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pep talk. Show all posts

Thursday, February 28

Steven Pressfield Gives Writers A Pep Talk In A "Get Off Your Duff And Start Writing!" Kind Of Way

Steven Pressfield Gives A Pep Talk In A "Get Off Your Duff And Start Writing!" Kind Of Way

It seems this is the time for pep talks. I shared Kid President's yesterday, so I wasn't sure if I should share another right after it, but the truth is I have to, it's just too good.

Besides, it's not like we can have too many pep talks, right?

How The Eagles Learnt To Write A Song

With seven number-one singles, six Grammys five American Music Awards and six number one albums to their name, it's safe to say the Eagles knew how to write a song, but this wasn't always the case. (Eagles (band), Wikipedia)

Steven Pressfield writes:
Glenn Frey was telling the story. He was talking about the early 70s in L.A., before the Eagles were even a band, or maybe just after they had gotten started. He and Don Henley were playing gigs (they had backed up Linda Ronstadt for a while) but they were not writing their own material. They were covering other musicians’ songs. They knew they had to start writing their own—and they wanted to desperately—but they couldn’t figure out how.
.  .  .  .
It turned out that they were living in a little cheap apartment in Echo Park directly above an even littler, cheaper apartment that was being rented by Jackson Browne. Jackson Browne was at the very start of his career too. He was starving just like Glenn and Don.

Glenn Frey, telling the story, says something like this:
“Every morning we’d wake up and we’d hear Jackson’s piano coming through the floor from the apartment below. He would play one verse, then play it again, and again and again. Twenty times in a row, till he had it exactly the way he wanted.

“Then he’d move to the next verse. Again, twenty times. It went on for hours. I don’t know how many days we listened to this same process before it suddenly hit us: This is how you write a song. This is how it’s done.

“That changed everything for us.”
Steven Pressfield writes:
I love that story. I love the demystification of the process. Yeah, the Muse is present. Yes, inspiration is key. But the ethic is workaday. It’s sit down, shut up, do what you have to.
.  .  .  .
I can relate completely to what Glenn Frey said ... I can hear the notes from that piano coming up through the floorboards. “Jeez Louise, what is that guy doing down there? Stop, man! Take a break!”

Then, slowly maybe, or maybe in a flash, the light dawns. “This is how you do it. This is how you write a song.”
All quotations are from Steven Pressfield's article: Jackson Browne’s Piano coming through the Floor.

Here's the link to Steven Pressfield's blog, it's one of my favorites because I love reading an industry professional write about his experiences.
What do you do to get yourself to sit down, unplug from your social networks, hide the TV remote, and write?

Other articles you might like:

- A Pep Talk
- How To Edit: Kill Your Darlings
- Chuck Wendig Says That Editing Is Writing

Photo credit: "The Entrance" by nattu under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

Wednesday, February 27

A Pep Talk

Everyone needs a pep talk, even writers.

Whether it's writing a book or sending off a short story for a contest, or writing for a genre you love but have never written for. Don't just think about it, do it! Stretch yourself.

Find a dream worth pursuing and then never, ever, give up.

Here's a pep talk that's gone viral on YouTube. Enjoy!

Thanks to Larry Brooks at for posting this link.

Other articles you might like:

- How To Edit: Kill Your Darlings
- 6 Ways To Get Rid Of Infodumps At The Beginning Of A Story
- Write A Novel In A Year, Chuck Wendig's Plan: The Big 350

Photo credit: "little dog in tuscany 2" by francesco sgroi under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

Friday, November 9

A NaNoWriMo Pep Talk From Neil Gaiman

A NaNoWriMo Pep Talk From Neil Gaiman

The Great Swampy Middle

Well, we're into the second week of NaNoWriMo. That first blush of exuberant confidence is gone and we're into the long uphill slog.

That's how I feel at least. The bright-shiny is wearing off and I'm finding it difficult to finish my daytime work and THEN sit and write for another two or three hours for NaNoWriMo.

But I'm going to.

Because I'm a writer.

And writers write.

Neil Gaiman's NaNoWriMo Pep Talk: Find the next word. Write it down. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Just reading Neil Gaiman's prose is an inspiration.
By now you’re probably ready to give up. You’re past that first fine furious rapture when every character and idea is new and entertaining. You’re not yet at the momentous downhill slide to the end, when words and images tumble out of your head sometimes faster than you can get them down on paper. You’re in the middle, a little past the half-way point. The glamour has faded, the magic has gone, your back hurts from all the typing, your family, friends and random email acquaintances have gone from being encouraging or at least accepting to now complaining that they never see you any more—and that even when they do you’re preoccupied and no fun. You don’t know why you started your novel, you no longer remember why you imagined that anyone would want to read it, and you’re pretty sure that even if you finish it it won’t have been worth the time or energy and every time you stop long enough to compare it to the thing that you had in your head when you began—a glittering, brilliant, wonderful novel, in which every word spits fire and burns, a book as good or better than the best book you ever read—it falls so painfully short that you’re pretty sure that it would be a mercy simply to delete the whole thing.

Welcome to the club.

That’s how novels get written.
I would encourage you to read Neil Gaiman's entire article, I've just quoted from the beginning. You can find it here: Neil Gaiman’s Pep Talk.

Neil Gaiman is just one of dozens of authors who have written pep talks for NaNoWriMo. You can find them in the NaNoWriMo Pep Talk Archive.

My word count right now is 13,952 and I plan to bring that up to 16,000 by the end of the day. We can do this!! :-)

Other articles you might like:

- How To Earn A Living As A Self-Published Writer
- How To Write 10,000 Words A Day
- NaNoWriMo: A Survival Guide

Photo credit: "Contemplation - Dartmoor, Devon" by Janicskovsky under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.