The Hemmingway Hack

Ernest Hemingway old | That's what I'd like to know

“The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it.” -Ernest Hemingway (giving advice to a young, aspiring writer)

The above quote is from a terrific Esquire piece written by Hemingway himself. You can read it HERE.

This is great advice. Not just for writing, but accomplishing any task.

First, break the task down into chunks. Daily, repetitive action.

Then, at the end of each day’s action, stop at a good point.

Maybe you could do more. But don’t. That way, you’ll be excited to return to it the next day. And, you’ll know where to start. Not have to think about it. With momentum on your side.

Give it a shot. Let me know what you think.

P.S. – For a deeper dive into yesterday’s post about Expectation and how it relates to acting, check out Uta Hagen’s masterpiece, A Challenge For The Actor. She writes beautifully on the subject. One quote…”Remember that in life, what we do is always accompanied by expectations of the consequences of our actions, what we think will happen next. However, we never know for sure what that will be. How we receive what actually happens brings about our next action, which is again sent with certain expectations, hopes, speculations, or assumptions about its consequences…We must strive to be newly alive from moment to moment, alive in every fiber of our being, surprising ourselves every time we repeat a performance.”

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