The Art of Craft — My 2016 Resolution

In the search to figure out how to consistently put words on a page, I’ve read a lot about craft. The search for just what helped this person “get there” fascinates me, in no small part because of a mental roadblock I seem to come up against daily. When every time I try to take the jumble of words floating around my head and make sense of them, I end up once again staring at a blinking cursor and blank page. My brain, seeking that quick hit of satisfaction instead of the slow burn of the creative process, jumps from book to interview to inspirational quote to Buzzfeed quiz (apparently I should marry Jamie Dornan instead of Leonardo DiCaprio) to feel some sense of accomplishment that my inability to string more than a sentence together can’t give. So this year, I’m going to return to this post daily to remind myself what all the countless hours I’ve spent reading about and listening to how someone got good at something have taught me. And it can be summed up by everyone’s favorite, and most syntactically unique, Jedi master.

DO, OR DO NOT. THERE IS NO TRY.

Start Wars not your cup of tea? How about sport’s version?

JUST DO IT.

Any which way I spin it to myself, at the end of the day, words + written = success. Because, as I’ve learned from just about everyone I’ve read about, in order to get capitol-S “Success”, consistently making things is what’s most important. The getting good will come along the way. Need proof?

Ed Sheeran, the guy one year younger than me who’s won every award and topped every chart under the sun? Only because he played more than 300 shows a year, sometimes going to three different venues a night because if he didn’t play, he wouldn’t eat.

John Green, Nerd hero and bestselling author? Has made nearly 8,000 videos and deletes 90% of what he first puts on the page.

Donald Trump, current Republican Party poll leader and self-proclaimed “not loser”? Had four companies of his file for bankruptcy and almost lost the hair right off his head during a particularly breezy night in New England.

Ok, maybe that last one is a bit of a stretch. But you get the point.

So it may not always resemble art, but 2016 is the year I begin to really work at my craft. And even if I look back and want to delete 90% of what I put on the page, I’ll see the 10% I do enjoy and know it was worth it. So if you’re like me and need that daily reminder, bookmark this post, and remember at the end of the day: words + written= success.