Monday, July 14, 2008

The Miracle of Low Expectations

I like to pass on the secrets to good life when I have them. Sea salt was the first. The second secret is: set low expectations for yourself. There is surely value in thinking big & shooting for the stars & going for gold, but thinking meekly produces its own sorts of miracles.

For example.

Writing books tell you write 1 hour a day, or three pages a day, or 1,000 words a day or whatever it is that works for the author. One hour doesn't work so well for me what with two children and a job and a bunch of meetings each week. The books say if you have kids and jobs and meetings,  get up an hour earlier. Ha, ha! That's hilarious! The people who suggest this don't have little kids and jobs and meetings themselves, for the most part; usually they use J.K. Rowling as their example of someone who actually pulled this off.

Try 10 minutes of writing a day.

Using the At Least 10 Minutes A Day system, I completed a 300-page memoir in 18 months. Not that the manuscript found a publisher (though two excerpts have been published  this year, one in Word Riot and one in Hip Mama). I'm 120 pages into a novel, started last November. If I made myself write an hour, I'd never get a word on paper. Anyone can write for 10 minutes.

At Least 10 Minutes A Day can be applied to exercise, meditation, home projects, work goals, anything. It works.

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