Friday, October 21, 2016

Discipline: The Necessary Evil of Writing

Couldn't get the review I was working on done in time this week, so unfortunately, this'll need to be a quickie.

I think I, along with all other writers, start with this false idea of what a career in writing will entail. We have this vision of doing what we love all day long, of achieving our dreams.

Don't get me wrong. I love being a writer (remember my reasons why?), but it actually is a job. It's hard work.

One of the writing advice I kept hearing over and over again while I was in college was "Write regularly. Make it a discipline. Even if you're only writing 1,000 words a day--or less--take it seriously. Write every single day."

I can't tell you how long I spent blowing off this advice. I'd write when I had the inspiration. And oh, that worked for a couple years, but when The Victor's Blade hit a brick wall (or when real life got in the way), writing ground to a halt.

The only way to get over that hump is just to keep writing. That's what everybody said, and now I finally know from experience that it's true. Even if the writing you're churning out sucks (which it probably will since you're forcing yourself to write), at least you're getting stuff down on paper. For many writers, revision is a lot easier than rough drafts. At least with revision, you're working with something that's already there. A blank page is terrifying.

So keep writing every day. Keep working every day. Make it a priority. Set smaller goals at first (my first goal was "Write one page a day." Then it grew to "three to five pages"), then expand into larger goals as time goes. And don't sweat the days that you don't meet your goals. It happens. Don't let it make you feel like a failure. Give yourself license to be human.

I know, I know--easier said than done. I know because I've experienced both sides: before and after I sat down and got disciplined. But as hard as it is some days (or some weeks), I can't deny that it works.

Don't procrastinate. Persevere! And little by little, you'll see results.

From Him, To Him

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