Pursuing Mastery

“The practice of any art has certain general requirements,
quite regardless of whether we deal with the art of carpentry,
medicine, or the art of love.”
Erich Fromm

Or the art of writing. At first blush, The Art of Loving may seem like an odd guide to draw on for writing advice, yet it’s surprisingly apt. In the last chapter of this classic, Fromm lays out the ingredients for achieving excellence in any artistic endeavor. What a gift to us as we hone our craft! Reading the chapter is like attending a master class in mastery. Here are Fromm’s five keys to mastery:

Discipline: “I shall never be good at anything if I do not do it in a disciplined way; anything I do only ‘if I am in the mood’ may be a nice or amusing hobby,
but I shall never become a master in that art.”

Concentration: “The activity at this very moment must be the only thing that matters, to which one is fully given. If one is concentrated, it matters little what one is doing; the important, as well as the unimportant things assume a new dimension of reality, because they have one’s full attention.”

Patience: “If one is after quick results, one never learns an art. Yet, for modern man, patience is as difficult to practice as discipline and concentration. Our whole industrial system fosters exactly the opposite: quickness.”

Supreme concern: “If the art is not something of supreme importance, the apprentice will never learn it. He will remain, at best, a good dilettante, but will
never become a master.”

Devotion: “If one wants to become a master in any art, one’s whole life must be devoted to it, or at least related to it. One’s own person becomes an instrument in the practice of the art, and must be kept fit…”

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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