Episode #85 – A Drop in the Bucket

Welcome to episode eighty-five of the Life Writers Vlog!

Today, we’re exploring nature writing, long-form journalist, and professor John McPhee’s take on writing.

McPhee, with thirty-three books under his belt, emphasizes the power of daily, consistent writing—even just a few words each day adds up. Here’s what McPhee says:

And if somebody says to me, “You’re a prolific writer,” it seems so odd…On a certain scale, it does look like I do a lot. But that’s my day, all day long, sitting there wondering when I’m going to be able to get started. And the routine of doing this six days a week puts a little drop in a bucket each day, and that’s the key. Because if you put a drop in a bucket every day, after three hundred and sixty-five days, the bucket’s going to have some water in it.

How do you put drops in your writing bucket? Do you pour words in a lot at one time, or do you drip them slowly over time?

Share your approach to writing in the comments section below. Remember, the only way to do this wrong is to not do it at all!

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Lorraine Neville
Lorraine Neville
1 month ago

Hi, I’ve been writing again for about 4 months now. The longest time I’ve ever written consistently and I’m pretty pleased about this. I’m just now beginning to have a set time for writing most days. Mornings work best for me when my mind is fresh. Also, I belong to a small group of four writers with whom I meet weekly. We read and comment on each other’s writings. It’s wonderfully supportive and helps to keep me writing. One of them introduced me to Life Writers. I’m delighted to be here.

Monique Cobbs
1 month ago

Daily writing sounds good. Trouble is, my world is not a platform for an even flow of events. Moreover, consistency and I are not always on speaking terms, and my muse takes frequent vacations. Therefore, when she does whisper sweet things into my ear, I listen and take notes; and when my time permits I type things out – in rough form. When I know I have a little more time to myself, I then work on the idea more seriously.

Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen
1 month ago

I’m writing my memoirs. After publishing one book, I still overwhelmed with the task. Yes, the idea of wrriting something every day would work for me. Maybe I’ll write on a calendar those days I work on my writing. I often read the book I’ve given to my nine children and more grandchildren, and I like my book. So, I just need to keep writing something every day.
thanks for the reminder.

David Godin
1 month ago

Recently I’ve spent more time reading about writing than actually writing, which bothers me. When I write often, the words flow easily. I started using a small notebook, which I keep nearby, to jot thoughts. My writing starts with a phrase or idea, not an outline.

Lorraine Neville
Lorraine Neville
1 month ago
Reply to  David Godin

I’m also spending a lot of time reading about writing which I think is a necessary part of becoming a good writer. I also have a half a dozen memoirs laying around. I figure if I want to a rite a memoir I need to read a bunch of them. It’s called ‘ passive writing’. ☺️
✍️

David Godin
1 month ago

Passive writing. Thanks.
I think I found my new rationalization for reading and maybe daydreaming.
The non writing times are productive.

Lorraine Neville
Lorraine Neville
1 month ago
Reply to  David Godin

Good! I know that phrase helped me relax a little. Write On.

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