Tag Archives: Patty Larkin

Odds Are In Your Favor


Sorry I’m a day late. I got home super late last night and just couldn’t get this posted.

I was reviewing some notes I had jotted down in a notebook yesterday and I came upon some writing advice I had found by Laurie Halse Anderson. Some one asked her how you maintain confidence when your success rate is 0.1%. Her response was great, “If you quit, your success rate is guaranteed to be 0%. Which odds do you like better?”

I was thinking a lot about this today. I haven’t been writing much. It’s crazy because I think about it all the time – setting, characters, arc etc. I’m just not writing. I think because I have so much else going on, I just put it off but then before I know it, it is midnight and another day has slipped through my fingers.

I was writing consistently 20 minutes a day for a while, but now that I’m out of the habit it’s hard to get back in the saddle again.

While I waited to get my hair cut this afternoon, I was thumbing through an old songwriting book. There was a great article by Patty Larkin about Luring the Muse. She thinks of writing like going fishing. Similar to Laurie Halse Anderson, Patty says that you can’t catch anything unless you go to the water’s edge and put your line in. I think she’s right. I can think about my stories or ideas for songs all the livelong day, but if I don’t do any writing than I’m batting at zero.

A friend of mine recently told me of an experience he had over Spring Break with two different yoga teachers. One teacher’s focus centered on technique and no one did much yoga in the class because you couldn’t move on until the technique was perfect. On the opposite end of that extreme, he went to another class where the teacher said that yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory – the more you practice, the better your theory becomes.

I thought this was a perfect analogy for writing or any creative pursuit. So many people procrastinate and put off their creative expression for a whole slew of reasons (myself included) when if we would just practice all the other stuff would fall into place.

Even though I have a ton of work to do for school this weekend, I want to work some at getting to the page as well. I want my percentage to be above zero!