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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