Writing Time Part 15: Time Management for Writers: Seinfeld Hands Us the Key

Whole at mirror detailA gifted teacher told me there is only love or fear, a binary view of things that is useful in addressing time management for writers. We already know that attitude is everything in managing our careers, and that if we are excited about writing, we’ll be more likely to write.

Wanting to do the work helps us get it done. This statement is true so long as our attitude to our own work is as generous and friendly as our attitude to our colleagues’ work. Keep going. It’s better than you think. What an easy fix. I love your characters. You’re talented. Every writer makes that mistake once. Sure you can do it. It’s only when we are hard on ourselves that we find ourselves unwilling to write even though we find the time. That’s when we avoid the blank page because we believe the words we write on it will tell us something we fear might be true – that we’re no damn good. That’s a terrifying proposition. Turns me cold from head to toe.

Love or fear. Make your choice, adventurous stranger. If you choose love, then fear is banished. You love the process, and so you do not fear the product. You love the words, so you don’t fear the reader’s reaction to it. You love the story, so you don’t fear the critic.

Loving the work, not fearing failure, is the attitude that gets the work done in the time we’re given. There’s a section in E1S7 of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, where Seinfeld tells Obama, I fell in love with the work. And the work was joyful and difficult and interesting, and that was my focus.” Hearing these words is like being handed the key to a fabulous treasure that was buried all the time in our own back yards.

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