The End Result

Here’s a quote from the prolific writer Gary Paulsen, whose birthday is today (1939).

Paulsen used to run sled dogs, and competed twice in the Iditarod in the 1980s.

“I started to focus on writing the same energies and efforts that I was using with dogs. So we’re talking 18-, 19-, 20-hour days completely committed to work. Totally, viciously, obsessively committed to work, the way I’d run dogs….I still work that way, completely, all the time. I just work. I don’t drink, I don’t fool around, I’m just this way….The end result is there’s a lot of books out there.”

Right, that’s how you do it, by making a commitment. Remember when the writing professor wrote the letters K A C on the whiteboard and said the secret to writing was reading and keeping your ass in the chair? Well, it’s not how I’m doing it. And what does that tell you?

Paulsen’s web site says:

Paulsen is a master storyteller who has written more than 175 books and some 200 articles and short stories for children and adults. He is one of the most important writers of young adult literature today and three of his novels — Hatchet, Dogsong, and The Winter Room — were Newbery Honor Books. His books frequently appear on the best books lists of the American Library Association.

Props: The Writer’s Almanac.

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