Thursday, January 6, 2011

Habits of Highly Effective (Writer) People

This'll be the last time I post about that whole Buffett/Gates event.  But this last one I thought was also really important.  A student asked them about habits they've developed that they feel are key to their day-to-day.

Warren Buffett said (again, rough paraphrase), "Have the right heroes.  People you look up to are going to form your vision of how you want to be later in life.  Invest in yourself as much as you can.  You're your best asset.  Most people go through life using up a very small part of their potential.  Anything you can invest in yourself is a wise investment.  Follow your passion.  Whatever turns you on.  You don't want to take a job just for the money or work with people you work with.  You ought to be happy to get out of bed."

I like what he said about investing in yourself.  As creative types, it's so easy to drain that creative well.  We have to make an investment of time and effort to replenish that well.  Go to a museum, the zoo, read a good book just to read not for research on craft of history for our world-building, etc.

And we have to follow our passion.  Writing to market will never get us very far.  Nor will we get far if we don't love the very core of what we do-- pouring our hearts and souls into every word that we bleed from our fingertips.

I also really liked how he said that the people we look up to will guide our hopes for our futures.  It's so important to put priorities in order so that we can keep our eye on the bigger picture while not losing sight of our most passionately desired goals.

So, who do you look up to and how have they changed how you see your future?

For me, the most important would be my Savior.  Followed insanely close by my parents.

As for writers/authors, Jasper Fforde would be one of them.  His answer to a question I once asked him has helped me to keep going in some of the toughest moments of my journey so far in this crazy publishing world.

Another would be the late David Eddings.  He, along with Tamora Pierce, really opened my eyes to the possibility of your imagination.  It's because of them that I fell in love with fantasy and write it above all else.  (I've dabbled in other genres, but fantasy is where my passion rests.)


  1. I love what he says about following our passion. I think it's almost impossible to be successful at something unless you are passionate about it.

  2. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I do love the heroes bit, because my heroes aren't famous authors or wealthy individuals. They are Godly people who have helped me grow as an individual. Not a bad aspiration to become.

  3. zomg, David Eddings was my FAVORITE writer as a kid and still is among others. And I had no idea he'd died. I am now heartbroken.

  4. What a great post, Stephanie. I've been having similar thoughts recently, especially about being passionate. What's the point of doing things if it doesn't lift and move you?

    For me, the people who motivate me, my heroes, are every day people. My parents, my in-laws, my kids. (Especially my kids. They have such an innate sense of wonder and creativity. I want that.)

    And also, I love that you like Jasper Fforde. Isn't he great?

  5. My dad was my hero. He left school in 10th grade to join up and fight in WWII but he never stopped wanting to learn. He had shelves of books and kept a dictionary by his side when he read so he could look up the meaning of words. He spent his retirement visiting historic sites and natural wonders.

  6. I feel blessed to be able to follow my passion!

    Lovely post! :D

  7. I agree--following your passion through writing (after a passion for God of course) is such a wonderful thing. I'm grateful I'm able to pursue it at this point in my life.


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