If You Don’t Do it Today, You’ll Regret Not Doing it Tomorrow: A Guide to Writing
Using your time wisely, and getting ideas down on paper quickly are extremely important for writers.
When James Soong (宋楚瑜), chairman of the People First Party (親民黨), announced his candidacy for President for the 2012 Taiwan presidential elections, he received a gift from Taipei’s current mayor, Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The gift was a calligraphy couplet scroll (1) with the Chinese characters 「今天不做，明日後悔」written in ink.
calligraphy couplet scroll (1) ：書法對聯
The expression can be translated to “if you don’t do it today, you’ll regret not doing it tomorrow,” a message that conveys (a) the importance of urgency and striking while the iron is hot (2).
striking while the iron is hot (2) ：打鐵趁熱
conveys (a) ：傳達
This expression is not only critical in politics, but writing as well. As a writer, it’s important to use the time you have allotted wisely, and get ideas from your head down on a piece of paper quickly.
Writers often have to cope with strict deadlines given to them by their editors. The deadline is put in place to make sure material from the writer comes out on a regular basis (3), but also to ensure that the writer doesn’t waste too much time over-thinking (4) a written piece, doing too much research, or dilly-dallying (5) in general.
on a regular basis (3) ：經常性的
over-thinking (4) ：想太多
dilly-dallying (5) ：動作慢、猶豫不決
Using the Time Allotted Wisely
Articles that come out on “a regular basis” is very important because writing (especially news writing) needs to stay prescient to be relative to the lives of everyday people. If I had a great idea about Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement (6), but it took me two months to write it, the event may have already finished. What interest will people have in reading an article about an event that has already been finished for months?
Sunflower Movement (6) ：太陽花運動
Writers often take a lot of time to write articles because they often have to do an enormous (b) amount of research. However, writers often have the tendency to “over-research” and will spend more time reading than writing. This is bad if you have a deadline looming (c). It’s best to read exactly what you need, and not over-research to ensure your article comes out on time (d).
enormous (b) ：極大的、巨大的、龐大的
on time (d)：準時
Keeping track of (7) the time you have to write is also important to stop you from “dilly-dallying”, or wasting your valuable writing time. Sometimes it may seem painful to write, especially when it might be more fun to go outside, watch a movie, or just surf the internet. It’s important to resist (e) those temptations (f) and get to work.
Keep track of (7) ：記錄；掌握…..的線索；跟上…..的進展
resist (e)： 抗拒、忍住
Getting Ideas on Paper Quickly
We all have great ideas about a tv show, a novel, a movie, or news story. But people seldomly follow through on these ideas because they are slow to move to the next step of actually creating these ideas.
It is important to follow through quickly on ideas, explore them further with friends, talk about them with other people, and then take the next step in realizing your vision (8).
Realize your vision (8)：實現夢想
If you have a story for a news article, pitch your idea quickly to a newspaper editor, or website administrator. If they like your idea, make sure they give you a strict deadline on when they expect such material. People are much more likely to produce material on time if they are given a deadline by others because they worry about disappointing the opposite party.
Also, fleshing out ideas quickly stops you from procrastinating (g) and keeps you motivated to see the project through to the end. Often our worst enemy for not completing a project is ourselves.
Have Fun While You’re Writing
Most of all, try to make writing a fun activity for yourself. Give yourself small goals that are achievable over a short period of time (9), and reward (h) yourself once you complete the goal.
over a short period of time (9)：經過一段短時間
There’s no greater feeling than seeing your work completed well for everyone to see.
文中的 9 個詞組及 8 個單字，你記住了幾個？