Things Writers Do

We're not writing.

We're not writing enough.

We're writing but it's all junk.

The internal critic never stops!
No wonder we're miserable.

To counter this destructive loop, writer Molly Spencer has created Things Poets Do. It serves as a reminder of all she is accomplishing, rather than focusing on the things she has not yet achieved. It's a great mind shift, an excellent list, and I've adapted and expanded it for my own use:

Things Writers Do

1. Read and study a variety of good writing, especially contemporary work.

2. Keep up with the news of the literary world.

3. Draft poems, stories, essays.

4. Do research, legwork, word-work, and notebook-work to nourish the drafting process.

5. Revise work.

6. Connect with other readers, writers and artists.

7. Swap work for critiques.

8. Read Poets & Writers magazine.

9. Attend readings.

10. Give readings.

11. Spread the poems (stories, etc).

12. Read a variety of literary journals.

13. Research places to submit work.

14. Submit work.

15. Attend arts events to support local creativity, and for cross-pollination purposes.

16. Read essays to learn more about specific craft elements; generally, study elements of craft.

17. Attend classes, workshops, retreats, etc.

18. Get enough sleep, healthy food, exercise, and recreation (good self-care).

19. Apply for mentorships, fellowships and grants.

20. Do errands in support of writing (office supplies, post office, etc.)

21. Get editorial experience, if possible.

22. Set goals and track progress toward goals.

23. Celebrate victories, large and small.

24. Get outside myself and give to others (books, time, encouragement).


What's on your list? Do any of these things resonate with you? What would you add?