Good Rule: Take pleasure in your artistic process

This might not make you an artist. But, if you don’t take such pleasure, no one will give a hoot about your song, painting, poem, or garden. This is from my friend Jonathan Mayhew’s brilliant and beautiful blog:

If you don’t write with delectation your reader will feel none. If you are bored with your topic, your reader will feel your boredom–your pain, whatever it is that you feel, she will feel it too.

Taking pleasure. Well, look at the play I wrote yesterday, playing hooky from my scholarly writing. That was fun and I don’t care whether anyone else likes the final result.

The first thing: take pleasure in the raw materials. What you have chosen to write about has value and interest to you. It could be the pleasure of finding something egregiously bad or stupid, even.

Take pleasure in the level of engagement with the material. You are enjoying your spending of the time in this company. With this engagement, you lose a sense of your self as separate from the material.

Take pleasure in the final result, your ability to make something valuable and pleasurable to other people. Write pleasure-giving sentences.

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