You know, what’s fun about writing every day is that after awhile writing 2,740 + words is just another day. This is where the whole discipline + desire = new awesome habit comes into play. I’ve read about many authors who sit down every morning to write their daily allotment of words and do so for years, so that it becomes second nature, as natural as passing wind, just something they do.
This is incredible only when or while you regard writing as an incredible thing. When you’re just starting as a writer, each short story you write is momentous, laden with emotion and weighs upon your mind like a bowling ball dropped upon a rubber sheet that Einstein has laboriously marked up with crosshatching. When you write your first novel it is exactly that, your First Novel, and each chapter was a massive undertaking, a leap of faith, your characters were novel and strange, as exciting and enigmatic as girls are to an eleven year old boy, fascinating and the source of distress. It’s all such a big deal, such an endeavor. When you sit down to write, you are channeling the muse, you are Creating, and gosh bang wow if it isn’t the coolest thing ever.
But once you’ve written a few novels, once you begin to get into the swing of things, it loses some of that mystical edge. Not that it’s no longer the most absorbing, electrifying thing when it goes right, but after awhile the days blur into each other, Chapter 7 was just that, another chapter, and when you hit a wall, when you lose steam and need to muscle through, you can do exactly that.
Which is what I did today. I was really uninspired, am still under the weather, lack energy, motivation and inspiration. Phi V.1.0 would have simply not written, would have given the day a pass, and probably all of last week and the next as well while he distracted himself with more interesting things. Phil V2.0 however sat down and rolled up his sleeves and then admittedly got back up to make some honey lemon tea and then sat down again and wrote just about 3,000 words. Were they the best words ever? No. But halfway through he had an idea, OK fine, I had an idea, and a new direction opened up, a solution to the problem I was wrestling with, and I now think I’m back on track. I think the last 25,000 words should come together just fine, and I may even regain some of that old fire that fueled the first 50,000 words ie: the last two weeks.
So what’s the moral here, what’s the story? It’s pretty simple and not all that earth shattering. Earth breaking? Earth rupturing? Earth shattering. It’s that discipline + desire = habit, and over time that habit will see to it that your stories get written, your deadlines get met, your content gets generated and what’s better, insurmountable walls get surmounted pretty darn quickly.
I just wish I could go back ten years to kick my 20 year old self’s butt and tell him to stop goofing around just write, dammit. That, as far as I can tell, is the secret trick to becoming a writer. You just have to get your butt in the chair each and every day, and write.