Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A consistent, regular output

If there's one thing I should have learned from the three years I did National Novel Writing month, it's that writing -- and by that I mean having a consistent, regular output of words on a page -- is easy. You just do it. You sit down, and you write.

Now, it's not always going to be brilliant, of course. That's something you expect going in. And, I mean, isn't that what the editing process is for, at least in part? I think it is.

So as long as you're not going to lose sleep over the quality of the work, just sit down and do it. Sit down and write. Dump a bunch of words out.

Even if you're not feeling terribly inspired by one project, you pick a different project. Or you just ignore all your projects and write a stupid blog post. Like this one.

It's not hard. You just do it.

I remember another piece of advice I heard from an author -- who it was I can't recall for the life of me at the moment -- which said, force yourself to write for 30 minutes every day. That's the only commitment you need to make. It's juts 30 minutes, how much of a loss out of your day is that?

And if the writing goes bad -- if it's uninspired or weak or whatever -- you just pick up and walk away when the 30 minutes is done. You've at least done something. But if things go really, really well, you may find yourself writing for longer than the 30 minutes. Maybe an hour, maybe two. Maybe you'll put a whole bunch of really good stuff on the page. Who knows.

And that's stuff that never would have ended up there if you hadn't sat down for those 30 minutes.

I know these things. I've experienced them first hand. Now I just need to do them regularly. And not just by wasting time with a blog post on January 2 in an attempt to prove that, yes, in the new year, I really *am* going to write more often.

1 comment:

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