Writing for the Soul: Success!

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the 30+ check-in reports I get every day from the four “challenge groups.”

We are writing on thirty different projects, in more than twenty states, across many time zones.

Many are grandparents, but a few are juggling their writing with nursing babies.

How can such a diverse group of writers support each other?


Despite differences in our lives, some things we have in common:

  • We notice that by writing daily–even for just ten or fifteen minutes–we are writing better.
  • We are smoother at starting.
  • We snatch small bits of time in which to write–bits that used to be wasted.
  • We bounce back and regroup from interruptions when life happens, as it does daily.

We are doing the best we can, given the schedules we keep, the numbers and ages of our children, the pressure of our day jobs, and various health issues.

Doing Your Best

It reminds me of a quote from a Jerry Jenkins writing book, Writing for the Soul: Instruction and Advice from an Extraordinary Writing Life. Jerry is a mega best-selling author, plus a down-to-earth person with a real writer’s heart. He said:

“Don’t try to write a bestseller or be a modern-day Shakespeare. Simply write your best… If you’re committed to being the best you can be, you’ll achieve your best. If you’re halfhearted, you’ll be only that. I’m not saying that if you commit yourself 100 percent, you’ll sell a million copies, but I can promise you’ll be the best writer you can be. How bad to you want to be the best you can be?…Decide what’s important to you. You will always make the time to do what you really want to do. If your goal is to be the best you can be, you can arrive there every day.

Now that’s success!

Success Your Way

His last statement was like a cup of cool water on a dry and thirsty day. Read it again. We can be successful every day if it’s a day we do the best we can with our writing.

And if we continue to write every day, the best we can do next month or next year will be much better than the best we can do today.

Like so many things, success in writing is step by step. We don’t get better in our writing by giant leaps. We get better like the tortoise, not the hare: slow and steady is the pace, slow and steady wins the race.

Do you want to write better? Then commit to writing your best today…and tomorrow…and the next day. You can’t–in the end–be more successful than that. And it will have the added bonus of making your writing days a pleasure.

Just curious. How do YOU spell success on any given day?

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4 Responses to Writing for the Soul: Success!

  1. Vijaya says:

    Great quote, Kristi. I measure success on a weekly basis because so often I’ll scrap everything I write on a particular day … I’m a week behind all of you, but it feels so good to get back into the novel again.

    • kwpadmin says:

      Vijaya, sometimes I am very surprised by how much I get done in a week. I can feel like individual days are a wash-out, yet by the end of the week a lot has gotten accomplished. Taking a longer view is also helpful!

  2. Kristi, I’m into my third lot of 28 days, and writing is now something I do every day as if it is simply part of me, something to look forward to, instead of fearing the blank page (or the blank mind!). There’s no question of me not writing, even if I squeeze it in some days, like you say.
    For those who are just embarking on their first 28, I can tell you slow and steady definitely works. After nearly 70 days, I’ve completed 190 pages, at a steady 2-3 pages a day. Sometimes 4 if I’m on a roll. Good luck to everyone! You can do it, too.

    • kwpadmin says:

      Sherryl, you are the main reason I am running these 30-day challenges! I am so impressed with watching you go from struggling to overcome procrastination to writing daily by habit. I am still surprised that we have to do this after writing so many years, but NOW let’s keep this habit going so we don’t have to keep starting over! :-) Thank you for starting me on these challenges with you in the first place. :-) And thanks for sharing how much you’ve actually gotten written by doing this. This is how careers are made!

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