Might look like an odd title since I did zip in the writing department on Saturday. Partially because the weather is misbehaving on my sinuses, but just, I wanted a break.
And I spotted a writer on Twitter who was extremely angry and rebelling against writing every day. Probably his inner critic was kicking in big time and stalling him out. I’m betting he was looking at a blank screen and couldn’t make it to the Nano word count.
If you’re just starting writing or haven’t got into a regular habit, writing every day is important to do.
- Writing fiction has a long learning curve. You have to produce a lot of words to get to the point where editors even start making personal comments. You don’t do that by writing when inspiration strikes, or by endlessly revising a single story.
- It gives you confidence that you can finish a project. That’s surprisingly important, especially in today’s culture where people run like squirrels gathering the nuts of projects, finishing very few. The Great Challenge was important for me because I finished 52 stories. I met a deadline every single week. And I have to keep reminding myself on hitting the one for my novel…and, at times, it’s terrifying.
- Failing doesn’t carry as much weight. If your entire hopes and dreams rest on this book that you labored over for ten years, it’s going to be a big blow when you get a rejection. If you’re already ten stories ahead, it becomes, “Phhtt. I’ll send it somewhere else.”
- Habit gets you back to writing when things go haywire. I was working on a story and a family crisis happened. A relative landed in the hospital and flatlined. I become the information point for the rest of the family. After I got the initial phone call, I tried going back to writing, said, “Nope, not happening” and made the decision to call it for the time being. After the situation resolved itself (relative is okay), I got right back into writing.
Tomorrow, same Bat Channel, same Bat Time and more writing.
Writing regularly is important anytime, especially for those of us who write into the dark, because it helps keep the story in mind. Even if we’re not planning ahead/plotting, having a sense of the story helps a lot. (At least for me; as always, others’ mileage may vary.)
This has been brought home to me in the wake of my mother’s death. Obviously, I wasn’t writing much at all while arranging the funeral and dealing with her estate, and now that I’m trying to get back into the swing of it, I find I’ve lost that sense of story for the project I was in the middle of, and even re-reading what I have hasn’t (yet?) got me back where I was beforehand.
If I hadn’t committed to finishing every story I start, I’d probably abandon this one as a result.
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