It's the same for all of us. If we have a goal, or a dream, or just something we have to get done by a certain time, we've gotta keep shuffling. If you want to be a writer, the best place to start is writing every day. Work on your craft, improve your skills, do it every day. It may seem like nothing is happening, but it will be. Little steps every day, little changes, all add up to big changes over time. And sometimes your skills only improve bit by bit and then suddenly take a huge leap, which is actually really thrilling. I have heard Robert .Rodriguez, director of movies such as Sin City and the Spy Kids phenomonen, talking about this from when he was a cartoonist, and it's brilliant. He's brilliant.
Robin Sharma talks about working on your craft every day, saying if you can improve by only 1% every day, after one year you are suddenly 365% better than you were at the start of the year!!! That's a lot of percent!
Yes, I know, I hear ya, there are some things you can't and shouldn't do every day, like massive exercise, your body needs some rest, but there is always something you can do, so ner. On your days off you could research different exercises, or go for a leisurely walk, head to the beach, do something that will still help towards your goal but isn't the full-on stuff you generally do.
The thing is, if you're always building up your skills, always working on your craft, getting that 10,000 hours of practise in, when the big opportunity you've been waiting for arrives, you're ready to go.. The big race meet, or the school concert, or the weigh-in, or the X-Factor auditions, or the call for submissions, or whatever, you're ready to go!
I got over 200 rejections from publishers when I started out, and over all those 8 years I was writing and drawing every single day, sometimes a little bit, sometimes a lot, and eventually, when I got picked up for one book, I had heaps more ready to go. This meant I had one book published in the first eight years of my career, and 35 published in the next eight!
Not only that, but when I started drawing, one character would take me three or four weeks to create, and now I can do them in a day or two. This is only because I have drawn every day, and worked on my craft every day, so that now in the back of my subconcious I have built up skills I can call on when I need them, and the characters almost draw themselves now (they still start off looking REALLY BAD though!!! It's just quicker to go from REALLY BAD to pretty cool!).
So that's it for today. If you really want to improve at something, work on it. Do small things every day that keep you moving towards whatever your target is, and it will happen. And if you aim for small things, some days those small things will multiply into big things as fast as the zombie virus. 1000 words becomes 2000 words because you're in the flow. A 10 minute run becomes a 20 minute run because you felt so good.
So have fun, work on your craft, and keep shuffling!!!!!
(PS to hear one of Australia's finest athor/illustrators talking about working on your craft every day, check out my interview with Gabrielle Wang HERE. She's a star).
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