Caitlin Doughty Recommends...

“I had to stop myself from reading ‘Writing Habits of Famous Authors’ articles. Such glamorized routines create unrealistic expectations the same way beauty magazines do for young women. The practice I’d recommend is refusing to compare yourself to some manic pixie dream writer who is getting piles of rainbow manuscript magic completed every day. Focus instead on the little victories: Being willing to slog through hours and hours of research and writing without much effect, only to have a burst of fantastic connection while in the shower. Managing to stay off social media for a two hour stretch. Being kind to yourself, without lying to yourself. Doing the work, without over-identifying with the work. (I learned this last one through my day job as a mortician: If I become emotionally involved with every dead body, every story, every family, I’d be paralyzed and unable to do my job. This same concept applies to writing. Don’t let yourself get too caught up.) If I’m able to accomplish any two, hell, any one of these goals a day, I feel like I did all right...even if no one will ever write a glowing viral article on my routines.”
—Caitlin Doughty, author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From the Crematory (Norton, 2014)