“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” Bruce Lee
There’s gold to be mined for all of us in these nuggets of advice — today and every day.
As writers, we all basically know what “the essentials” are for improving our craft:
Making writing a priority: devoting time and space in our day to thinking and creating.
Making deliberate practice — working with intention to strengthen weak skills.
Making a passion for completion a daily pursuit to build our “commitment muscle.”
Making perseverance a goal and “fight through it” a mantra when we hit roadblocks.
Making reading and supporting kindred spirits part of the “fuel” that ignites our ingenuity.
Whatever projects we are working on, these are surely some of “the essentials” we need to bring to our pursuit of the writing life. But Bruce may have hit upon another “essential” —
the need to “Hack away at the inessentials.” The more skilled we become at eliminating what isn’t working — the distractions and habits and choices that get in the way of our writing, the more time and energy we free up to devote to our craft. So what are the “inessentials” we should all be hacking away at? The time-wasters that get in our way?
If I think about it, mine are pretty obvious:
1) Lack of self-organization — not having a clear-cut daily plan for what I want to do.
2) Not structuring my day so that I can devote major chunks of time to my work.
3) Being easily distracted by distractions — and allowing them to eat up my time.
How about you? Can you come up three “inessentials” to hack away at so you can devote more of your precious time and energy to what matters most? If so, please share them as we all write on!
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