Teddy put up a writing prompt in our group chat today. It said:
Prompt 11: These are my rules for writing and life:
It got me thinking. I really don’t have many ‘rules’ that I live by. Not for my writing, nor for my everyday life, but I have developed a few guidelines over the past few years. One ‘Rule’ for my writing and one ‘Rule’ that I have adopted from Kate Bournstine and her book, Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws, for my life.
So let’s talk about them, shall we?
My personal ‘Rule’, if you like, for my writing is this: A little a day keeps the Procrastination Fairy of Crazy away. It might sound silly, I know, but it’s very true. I aim to write a simple 200 words a day, every day, and I have done for the past two years now. It’s changed my life. Don’t get me wrong, I still procrastinate, I still get that excitable Instant Gratification Monkey that Tim Urban talks about in his Ted Talk and Blog banging at my brain. I still find myself drifting over to YouTube, but I have learned to allow myself the peace to know that it’s OK to do that, as long as my 200 words get done. 200 words a day is a novel in a year. It’s SO freeing.
My other ‘Rule’ is: Don’t be mean. It’s one I stand by. Not being mean doesn’t mean not saying no. Sometimes saying no can be the kindest thing to do to all involved. It simply means not saying, “No, you #*%T $~&D” because there’s no need for that. There’s no need for adding in that biting remark when someone doesn’t deserve it or taking out your frustrations on an innocent third party. Do what you need to in order to live. I believe that wholeheartedly. But, as Kate said, don’t be mean in the process.
None of us is perfect, we will all mess up, that’s what life is for, after all. But with each progressive mistake, we get one step closer to screwing up less each time. And that, I think, is beautiful.
Sophie, signing out.