The Wordsmythe's Weblog…

…On Words, Love and Life


I’ve mentioned in a few posts that I subscribe to – AWAD (A Word A Day). Every week the words are based on a theme and this week’s theme is German imports (words). Starting off the week is a word I’ve never heard or seen used before but it’s meaning served as a further wake up call in my determination to write more this year.

The word is ‘sitzfleisch’, pronounced SITZ-flaish or ZITS -flaish. It is a noun and means;

1. The ability to sit through or tolerate something boring.
2. The ability to endure or persist in a task.

Synonyms would include having stick-at-it-ness, steadfastness, perseverance, indefatigability, resolution, endurance, tenancity, doggedness, unwavering and untiring.

There is a certain comfort one gets from hearing these words. They are strong words. If they were human they would be Roman gladiators in full armour. They paint a picture. A picture of something or someone who is always there, who can be depended on, who can be relied or counted on, who can be trusted to deliver. I would love to be described as having any of these words but none more so than ‘Sitzfleisch’ for having it is what separates the wheat from the chaff. In the words of AWAD, “It’s often the difference between, for example, an aspiring writer and a writer”.

If, like me, you fall into any of the following categories

  • You would like to change your designation from budding writer to best-selling author.
  • You have great ideas in your head but you are completely stumped when it comes to translating them to paper/computer.
  • Some days all you can do is stare at the blank page and not think of a single thing to write.
  • Writing seems like such a chore and you are tempted to chuck it all in.
  • You doubt yourself.
  • You worry about securing a publishing deal, finding an agent or anything else relating to publishing.
  • You would love to have some sitzfleisch.

You are in good company. Most, if not all, successful writers have shared these thoughts at one point in their lives. So here are some of their words of encouragement to help you along the way.

“You can’t wait for inspiration.  You have to go after it with a club.”  Jack London

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”  Richard Bach

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”  E. L. Doctorow

“Love the writing, love the writing, love the writing… the rest will follow.”  Jane Yolen

“You will have to write and put away or burn a lot of material before you are comfortable in this medium.  You might as well start now and get the work done.  For I believe that eventually quantity will make for quality.”  Ray Bradbury

“The only certainty about writing and trying to be a writer is that it has to be done, not dreamed of or planned and never written, or talked about (the ego eventually falls apart like a soaked sponge), but simply written; it’s a dreadful, awful fact that writing is like any other work.” Janet Frame

“Being a real writer means being able to do the work on a bad day.”  Norman Mailer

“The mere habit of writing, of constantly keeping at it, of never giving up, ultimately teaches you how to write.”  Gabriel Fielding

“Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely essential.”  Jessamyn West

“The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.”  Mary Heaton Vorse

“Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing.  They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties.”
Bonnie Friedman

“Mere literary talent is common; what is rare is endurance, the continuing desire to work hard at writing.” Donald Hall



Thanks for stopping by and tara for now.


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12 thoughts on “‘Sitzfleisch’

  1. Thanks Nkem. This did speak to me. I am not a writer but I believe this applies to every area in life.

  2. Hi Olive,

    You are right. They are principles and concepts that can be applied to all walks of life.

    Thanks for stopping by

  3. Word. Thanks Nkem. This has given a well needed treten to my hintern.

  4. Ah Joxy, Ich sehe! Ich verstehe.

  5. Hmmmmmm.I agree with Olive… It applies to every area of life… Not just writing. But me, I want to write, so I guess, I would write away…

  6. I’ve learnt a new word and I’ve been encouraged. Hmm…deep breaths…I think I need more sitzfleisch

  7. I do need this seitzfleisch Nkem, but how does one get it?

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