Decisions…

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Decisions… article by: Roman Newell

Ever heard someone say (of athletes) that to be great you need to be able to forget? When a QB throws an interception the coach says, “Forget about that one.” And if the QB is good at what he does (competing not throwing) he will do just that. He will push the last from his mind and concentrate fully on the next. I was a platoon leader in Iraq. We conducted a lot of daily patrols, some on foot and some mounted in vehicles. As the PL I was the quarterback. There were a lot of lessons to be gleaned but one of them was this: make the best decision you can make right now. The follow-on to that was this: don’t commit any extra energy to questioning your decision once it’s been made. There will be plenty of time to debate your decisions later. But when you are in combat or in a high intensity environment you need to be focused on the next decision one decision at a time until the mission is complete. 

     I try to write this same way because composition really is a battleground of the mind. The tempo changes fast, the momentum can swing at any moment, and a moment of tactical advantage can shift to an ambush in a flash. You don’t get anywhere by belaboring what you have already written. But you can accomplish something incredible if you focus on the next line, the next sentence. Sentences turn into paragraphs and paragraphs into chapters. Paralysis by perfection kills writers all the time. It’s as if we writers think that by writing something it is stuck that way forever. 

    I challenge you to try something. Write one page. Just one page of anything. Preferably something that you haven’t been working on. And what I want you to do is either tape a piece of paper over your screen or minimize your document window so that you can only see the line you’re working on—that’s right—one line at a time. I want you to write one page like that and see if anything changes for you. I submit that something will change. And if something shifts for you I want you to share that with me so I can share it with your fellow readers in this blog space and newsletter.

     Dear writers, writing is not easy. It is a grossly underrated, thankless task. We are part of a time where the artistry of writing is in danger; threatened by mediocrity, people everywhere have best laid plans to “write a novel one day.” Don’t be one of those “one day” people. Don’t be the person who thieves from other people who are doing the work by making statements without substance. Or as they might say in prison: Don’t talk about it! Be about it!

Get it done. Keep your eyes forward! One line at a time and you’ll get there. 

Sincerely,
Roman Newell



Graphic Compositions:
by: Darlene Carroll

Graphic work can not be accomplished without the incredible resources made available to this Author and his team.
THANK YOU to the following artists for the gift of their artistry and generosity in sharing their beautiful artwork, photography, and fonts.

Background Imagery:
o. Maret Hosemann — Pixabay
o. Bruno (Germany) — Pixabay
o. Anna Aspnes

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