One Degree of Heat. Is Your Writing Hot Enough?

One Degree of Heat. Is Your Writing Hot Enough?

At the office last week, I happened past the kitchenette as the head of the organization placed a cup of water in the microwave.

Seizing the opportunity to get some face-time with the boss and demonstrate how savvy I am, I said, “You don’t have to use the microwave for your tea, Sir.  The water cooler dispenses hot water.”

Mr. Director gestured to the Deer Park water stand in the corner and said, “That water’s not hot enough.  I like to use boiling water when I make tea,” he said.

I stood there, staring blankly at him.  I didn’t have an intelligent comeback or witticism because the boss was right.  Yes, the water was adequately hot , but it wasn’t hot enough to boil.

The chat around the water dispenser made me think about my book projects—those book projects that are all in various stages of completion.  The blaring bottom line that occurred to me is:  I’m not hot enough!

You see, I think I have a modicum of talent to write well enough.  But I have to admit that my current level of commitment is not boiling.  If I had to assess myself, I’d say that my commitment level is about as temperate as a baby’s bath.  Definitely not hot enough to produce works of art that sear memories and leap into movie deals.

So, I asked myself:  What is it that separates hot water from boiling water?  Just one degree.  One tiny degree makes all the difference.  Water will boil at 212 degrees.  Not 200 degrees combined with a nice personality.  Not even 211 degrees with a good physique will get the job done. 

What separates a published author from a wanna-be writer?  One degree of effort.  That’s it.  If the heat isn’t piping at 212 degrees, you can wave your career good-bye. 

So, how does one turn up the heat and get hot?

  • Devote a dedicated time to write every day. 
  • Produce lots of copy and go back and edit it after you get the story on paper (screen).
  • Join a writers’ group to get solid critiques from other serious writers
  • Attend writers’ conferences to network and gain inspiration from other writers and industry people.
  • Devote a dedicated time to write every day.  Yes, I said this already but it deserves repeating.  Daily devotion to your craft will get you to your next level.

Write on!

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2 thoughts on “One Degree of Heat. Is Your Writing Hot Enough?

  1. Actually, water WILL boil at 211 degrees. It can boil at 200 degrees as well. You simply have to increase your altitude (i.e. reduce the atmospheric pressure).

    Of course that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the point of your article. But the nerdy chemist in me couldn’t let that one go by without commenting.

    Hey, at least I admitted that I was a nerd. 😉

    1. Let us just imagine for the purposes of this exercise that we’re located at a lower altitude and 211 degrees and below will NOT result in boiling water, okay??? 😉 Thanks for the comment, Donald. It’s good to have friends like you to keep me challenged! 🙂

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