Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life . . . (Pablo Picasso)
In an effort to stay informed about what’s going on or what isn’t, what’s in, what’s out, what should never have been—but is anyway, and blah, blah, blah . . . I subscribe to one h— of a lot of online newsletters and/or blogs by other writers, editors, agents, publishers, writing magazines as well as fun things like Oprah, Food Network, Taste of Home, Sounds True and on and on and on—
One editor advises that you really should format your manuscript in a way a prospective typesetter will appreciate.
Another one tells you that’s pure rubbish; don’t waste your time.
One well-known prolific soul will tell you that you must write at THE same hour, in THE same chair with THE same pen every single day.
Another best-selling soul advises against letting anyone tell you there is only one way to get the job done. “You will discover your own rhythm and take it from there.”
Blogger advisors will tell you have must post 3-5 times a week to gather a following, while another advises against overloading your readers, and maybe only one post a week could work for you.
Say exactly what you want.
You have to write what they want to hear or they won’t buy it.
Swear, if that’s who you are.
To be honest, my inbox got so full this summer I could hardly stand to open email every morning. There were all these voices waiting to be my best visiting email friend and authority on writing/publishing/blogging/slicing the perfect mango or meditating my way to exceptional health in just 10 easy minutes a day.
I’d kept these emails thinking I would get back to them, reread them and capture the various small tidbits of wisdom included therein, moved off to some neatly organized file folder system that I’d set up for quick and easy reference whenever the need arose.
One morning I logged in to my account and thought I’d start capturing some of all that golden advice so many others took time to write, and as I opened a few and began to scan for nuggets deserving to be kept, one word quickly came to mind: regurgitation.
“Hmmm . . . yeah . . . I’ve read this before. Oh, yeah . . . so and so said this, too, at that conference last year. Uh-huh . . . yeah . . . read that in that one book three years ago . . . good advice. Dang, girl, are you really going to give up this whole day for so much of the same all over again?”
That’s not to say there isn’t great advice being shared out in EtherLand, nor do I mean to imply that I’m so stinkin’ smart that I don’t need to read, study and listen, but holy cow . . . after a while this stuff clutters your mind, your dream, your productivity, your creativity—and worst of all: any real free mental and physical work time.
So. You know what they say about visitors and fish: after three days they both start to stink. There’s nothing to do except throw them out.
CONTROL+A (ALL), hit DELETE.
It was so easy, and I am enjoying my tidy E-mail house.