The Organized Writer: Aristotle and Emerson

by Jeff Abbott on December 23, 2008

Here are two very worthy quotes to think about as you gear up for a new year (or surviving the holiday tumult) and maybe some changes in how you manage your time, along with my modern translation:

What lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do.–Aristotle
(Don’t do stupid things with your time. Choose wisely, as the old guy in that third Indiana Jones movie said. If you’re wasting a lot of time, make a NOT DO list to go along with your TO DO list. Be aware of your time wasters and make a conscious decision not to do those things any more.)
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.–Emerson
(Don’t dwell on where you screwed up, move past it, let it go, do better the next day. Forgive yourself your stupidities. Writers–at least the good ones–tend to be their own worst critics. This is not a bad tendency, but don’t let it suffocate you or keep you from doing your work.)

    { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

    Ann Victor December 23, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Quote 1: since starting to read your organized writer series I’ve also started to simplify my life & make better choices of what to do with my time. Even my husband (who is ultra focused and ultra disciplined) has been pretty impressed with the new me!! :)
    Quote 2: oh, yes, I’m a very harsh self-critic! Just loved this quote.
    Delighted to say the two books I ordered arrived today (Cut & Run and Panic) just in time for my Dad’s xmas stocking!
    As you took your sons Xmas shopping, I’m assuming you celebrate Christmas rather than Hannukah, so a very Merry & Peaceful Christmas to you and your loved ones. With thanks for all your helpful advice on your blog!

    Kristan December 23, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Very helpful advice indeed! Now to take it…

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