Writing Hint #18 Write every day
Many people say they want to be a writer.
Many people dream about being a writer.
Many people read about being a writer.
Many people attend writers’ groups, seminars and conferences about writing.
Few people actually get to write.
Something happens to their dreams, their desires, their ideas and what they have been taught. There is no short cut to success in writing. It takes discipline, hard work, long hours and a few aches and pains. (As I write this my posterior is rather sore after over six hours at the computer, despite taking regular breaks.)
I recently read this quote in a newsletter I receive regularly. It makes the very point I am trying to get across.
“Back in the 60s, my undergraduate university days, I had a poet
professor who insisted that all serious writers were
self-disciplined, wrote something daily, and almost never were
plagued with writer’s block. It took me a decade to internalize
all that, but for about 30 years now I do write everyday. The
seasons come and go without slowing me down creatively. Whether
snow falls or rain pours or sun shines brightly, I continue
writing poems, stories, letters, and books. I love to write, so
why would I let even one day go by without doing what love?”
Setting yourself the goal of writing everyday is an excellent one. Over the course of a year it will surprise you how much you have accomplished. Do this over five years and you will be astonished at the vast body of writing you have achieved.
Set small goals at first:
Set small goals to start with, especially if you have a busy schedule. If you wrote 500 words a day (this article is just over 400 words long) you will write a 5000 word short story every two weeks (allowing time for editing and revision) and 26 such stories a year. The same word count will write a 100,000 novel in about seven months. After a few months of practice 500 words should take no more than about an hour.
Set bigger goals:
As your confidence and skills grow, set more challenging goals. Plan to write a minimum of say, a 1000 words or two hours every day. Without fail. That’s discipline. That’s hard work. That’s being serious about your writing. If it is just a hobby, treat it like a hobby. If you want to taken seriously as a writer, treat it like a business.
- Read every day.
- Write every day.
- Take time for yourself every day.