Are You Doing Your Homework?

Sunday, July 26, 2009
By Jill Earl

"Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life."

Check out this quote from producer, writer, and director Lawrence Kasdan. I have to admit that I didn’t really think too hard about his words until a couple of days ago.

Then I had a 'lightbulb moment'. I never viewed my writing as homework before.

That poem you’ve been writing, the one where you’re stymied by the stanzas? Homework.

What about the final touches on the white paper you’ve put together for a client? Or the family research you conducted for your memoir? You got it, homework.

Even those moments of writing you squeeze into your daily schedule can be considered homework.

Bet you thought homework was left behind once you graduated and the degree was in hand, didn't you? I certainly did! But, think about it. A writer isn’t doing ‘busy work’ once they pick up the pen or start typing on the keyboard. If they’re serious, they’re working at their craft and building their career.

Right now, I’m working on an 750-word article suitable for submission for a peer critique session I’ll be in at an upcoming conference. The topic’s been chosen, the research done, and I’ve been busy putting it together.

The thing is, just about everything you do to improve your writing can be considered homework. And that’s one of the goals you’re shooting for, right?

So, are you doing your homework?


kathrynjankowski said...

Yes, there's a lot to attend to on a daily basis, but it's all part and parcel of pursuing your passion.

Terry Pratchett made a relevant remark in the wonderful book "The Wand in the Word": he assumes he's writing all the time–even when he's actually doing something else.

I heartily concur.

Jill said...

That's a great quote from Mr. Pratchett. I'll have to check out "The Wand in the Word". Thanks, Kathryn!

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