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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Aurea mediocritas

The quality of your work should be excellent, of course, but your progress only has to be mediocre. You only have to meet extremely modest goals every week to reach success on your long-term goals.

Remember that mediocre is not a synonym of bad. Mediocre means middling, so-so, average. The ancient ideal of aurea mediocritas means a kind of golden moderation, avoiding either extreme.

(Remember too that many writers have extremely bad habits of procrastination, avoidance, irregularity of schedule. So mediocrity [having really good habits in terms of regularity, but not writing huge amounts all the time] is really way above average.)


Clarissa said...

"And when she was good, she was very very good. But when she was bad, she was horrid." This summarizes my work practices in a nutshell.

The group helps a lot, though.

Jonathan said...

That's exactly the problem, evening out the highs and lows to get a more consistent result. You'll find, though, that the highs will still be there, but that the lows will be less horrid.

Andrew Shields said...

Jonathan, that reminds me of my early understanding of "mediocre," which I posted about a while back (and you commented on). I won't repeat myself but just provide the link: