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Updated: Nov 2, 2021

That is the title of Chapter 7 in my Hey, Writer book. Here's a short excerpt from that chapter. The book is being finalized and will be available soon.

Margaret Atwood writes from 10 AM to 4 PM everyday, and aims for a thousand to two thousand words, or three to five pages, and continues into the night if she’s “really zipping along on a novel.”

An inaccurate list of her literary output includes seventeen novels, eight children’s books, eight books of shorter fiction, three graphic novels (I pray she didn’t illustrate them), eighteen books of poetry, ten books of non-fiction, three television scripts and, of course, The Handmaid’s Tale was a Hulu streaming blockbuster. I now wear that red dress and hat when my confidence is low.

Atwood is so inspiring, I can write the above laudations while simultaneously writing and uploading a Press Release for myself. Here it is: I’m a failure. I am never going to write again. I wish my dad’s one sperm that is me hadn’t won that initial race. Thank you and good night.

And the public writes back—okay, maybe one person writes back, probably me: Good. We’ve never heard of you anyway. What is it you do?

Clarence, the angel in It’s a Wonderful Life, got it right when he said to a suicidal George Bailey, “You mustn’t say those things.”

Do not compare your creative output to others or you will be mean to yourself way too much.

Find inspiration from comparison. Maybe read about their work schedule but maybe not. Read their work, and find some kinship. Even steal from them without plagiarizing. That is the unknown writer’s revenge.

But do not compare yourself to others.

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Updated: Sep 9, 2023

I've been obsessed with JAWS and sharks since I was a kid. Many books. A few posters. A couple of teeth. But here's the good reason for it: forgetting that JAWS may make you never swim again, even in a pool, both JAWS and the making of JAWS stand as masterclasses in multiple ways for filmmakers and writers, including structure, writing, sound, music, hooking us in and holding us, and the underestimated, vital talent of CREATIVE RESILIENCE. Resilience, resilience, life, sometimes, the only answer is to keep going, keep believing...

So I had to make a documentary for your pleasure, and inspiration—and mine. I hope it gives you the same joy and resilience I had putting it together. If you like it, like it, subscribe, and please share it!

By the way, I love to hear how people reacted to JAWS. I said to a friend last night, "I just did a little YouTube doc on JAWS." He was, like, "Aaah." It's hard to believe kids were even scared of swimming in pools. Why? Everybody knows Great Whites can't survive in captivity. Now what I can't guarantee is no crocodile in your toilet. That's risky.

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  • Writer's picturePete

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

Hope all is creatively rolling. If not, just say what my mom would say: "Fuck it." I'm just finishing a video on JAWS—you'll see—and I'm excited about it. That film was influential for me as a kid in multiple ways. And it didn't even scare me from swimming. Remember how some kids wouldn't even go in a pool. I'm also doing a video on inspiration, and a couple of classic space songs (Rocket Man and Space Oddity) and I read recently that Bernie Taupin, the legendary lyricist for Elton John, wrote Rocket Man (one of my all-time favourites) after reading Ray Bradbury's short story The Rocket Man. The Rocket Man! I loved reading that. So wonderfully inspired, inspiration being the engine of the creative process. Are you getting enough inspiration? Immerse yourself in art that moves you. I talk a lot about that inspiration in the writing and songwriting books I recently finished, and explain it a little in the video below.

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