When you write every day…

Picture1I mentioned in a previous blog that you should write every day.

Three things happen when you write every day:

1) You get better.

Writing is work. If you wait for inspiration, you won’t finish a single chapter.

And like any activity, the more you do it the better you get.

Finding Forrester is very quotable writing movie (PG-13 due to language). I can still hear Forrester (played by Sean Connery) belting out the command to his timid young protégé sitting at the typewriter:

“PUNCH the keys!”

In another scene, Forrester the legendary writer offers some sage advice:

“You write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is to write…not to think.”

Incidentally, James Michener shares a similar thought: “I’m not a good writer; I’ve been a masterful re-writer.”

2) You get faster.

I encouraged you to start with 300 words per day as your goal. Stephen King advises that you start with 2,000 words a day. I’m nicer than him. And he has superhuman writing abilities.

But your daily quota is less important than your primary goal: write every day. Some days that may amount to 2 sentence; other days you’ll churn out 2 pages. But you’ll soon find your body and mind trained on writing.

My friend Milo Self has said, “A healthy rhythm of life is easier to sustain when writing is part of my daily routine.”

3) You get results.

A few years ago I attempted to write a novel. I had written a couple of non-fiction books, but wanted to try my hand at fiction. So I made a commitment.

I didn’t quit my job.

I didn’t quit my family.

In five months I had completed a first draft of a novel measuring well over three hundred pages.

How? One day at a time.

My commitment was simply to add new words to my novel every single day. Depending on my schedule and energy level, some days my novel would inch forward by only 50 or 60 words (2 or 3 sentences). Other days it would grow by 3 or 4 pages. I spent as little as 10 minutes and as much as 2 hours writing every day. But (and I hope you hear me) I wrote every day.

Time is on your side. When you write every day, you produce at least a book a year.

So smash your TV, flush your phone, close your door, sit down, and write.

I believe you can.

 

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