There’s a video going around promoting a Master Class on TV writing that Shonda Rhimes is leading. I’m not going to link to it because I’ve read reviews of other celebrity video classes produced by the same company, and I don’t want to promote the program. But I don’t mean to cast aspersions on Shonda Rhimes, the woman who pretty much single-handedly diversified network television with must-watch romantic dramas. I’m sure she offers excellent advice when she teaches.
And, indeed, in the promo she offers exceptional advice.
“I don’t believe in the phrase ‘aspiring writer.’ To me, you’re a writer: Go write.”
And this, which may sound familiar to regular readers of this blog:
“Even if you have, like, five kids and you work a job, you can still find 10 minutes a day to write something down.”
Okay, there Ms. Rhimes and I disagree. I set the bar at 15 minutes—but 10 is good too. Even 5.
You know what’s not good? Zero.
Shonda Rhimes has no time for excuses
Have you ever found yourself saying “I’d like to…but”? Next time you catch those words coming out of your mouth or your keyboard, stop and think about it. When you’d really “like to” do something, you make time for it. You have time for Facebook or Candy Crush (or both), but you don’t have time to have a drink with a friend? Really?
So you want to start a daily writing practice (as a friend wrote me recently) but you don’t have 15 minutes a day—because of the holidays? I mean, how much time does it take to sing The First Noel or spin the family dreidel? Even this augmented arrangement of The Twelve Days of Christmas (my favorite) only takes four minutes.
So the next time you notice yourself about to say the words “I’d like to…but…” do yourself a favor and replace them with the truth—again courtesy of Shonda Rhimes: