Passion and Perseverance

Back when I worked at the library, we always got a kick out of the “organize your life” type books that were returned grossly late. But I spotted Grit by Angela Duckworth at my new local library and was determined that would NOT be me! (There’s even three weeks left on my borrowing period. Shh…I did renew it twice but that’s okay!)

I heard the author talk about the stick-to-it-iveness quality of “grit” on the Freakonomics podcast. She’s also got a TED talk which I haven’t yet seen (I’ll link it here and watch it tonight.) But I liked the podcast so much I listened twice.

Grit, she posits, is the main indicator of high achievement in any field. How is grit different than just perseverance or hard work? It’s worth reading about the spelling bee champs, olympic swimmers and other sports professionals she interviewed to find out, because there’s something a little slippery about the concept. I think it boils down to having the right mindset and relishing the hard work rather than just forcing yourself through the paces.

I think I have medium grit. (Anyone who writes novels must have at least some, because they’re such a freaking long slog.) But one tendency I have that I would like improve on is being devastated when I deem a project “unsuccessful.” I definitely learn more from my mistakes and failures and half-baked weird attempts than I do when something’s easy from the start. There’s also some really good stuff in the book about deliberate practice that can apply to writing. I’m trying to apply the mindset to increase my speed. Some weeks are better than others, but I’m sticking to it.

Find Grit on Amazon

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