|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
WHY SHOULD YOU WRITE EVERYDAY?
It's Sort Of Like Breathing...Once In A Great While Just Isn't Sufficient.
No one says you should write everyday. Except Anne Lamott, Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway or any number of other top shelf novelists and teachers. To be fair there are those who advocate NOT writing everyday, usually siting some arcane correlation between brain patterns and creativity. So, if you're in love with procrastinating, I've just provided you a way out!
What are my thoughts? No brainer time, my butt's in this chair everyday. I blog, work on short fiction, or poetry, am in the process of struggling through a novel, and write reviews and articles. So...why? Why put myself through this routine of making sure my ass is where it belongs, my fingers are on the keys (or wrapped around a writing implement...Look Ma! Opposable thumbs!), and my brain is engaged?
First, it's force of habit. Just like breaking a bad habit, you don't go cold turkey in the next ten seconds. Instead, you will yourself not to...this one time. If that works you aim for the next. Building a good habit is a lot like that. You don't sit down to write War and Peace. You try to get an opening paragraph. Then maybe a couple more. Maybe you shoot for a whole chapter eventually. The point is, build up to all this writing one paragraph or page at a time.
So what's the benefit? Production...That's it...All of it. Okay, maybe not ALL, but that's a big part of it. I produce a lot of pages in a day, even with a full time job and a wife who still somehow enjoys seeing my old mug. In all of that is some decent work. It's not finished, but is worth spending serious time refining. This output isn't hampered by lack of inspiration or blocks. I maintain constant contact with my subconscious and creative abilities and don't have to undergo long warming up periods. If I have to I'll doodle or stream a bit to get moving, but then we're off to the races.
Another advantage to this is having a supply of finished work in circulation to several publishers and competitions all at once. I'm not putting myself under added pressure wondering whether or not I can have something submitted this week. Instead, I have to keep track of everything I have out.
Believe me, this way, if you find yourself indecisive or lacking faith in your abilities, all you need do is open the drawer labeled SUBMISSIONS for a reminder you've survived worse. If you miss a deadline for a particular publication, so long as it's not something arranged with an editor for delivery, just aim for the next similar opportunity. Work is always in progress.
Finally, it's like driving a car or flying a plane. The more often you do it with focus and intent, the better you should become at it. Trite but true, practice makes perfect (so long as you're honest with yourself about what constitutes quality of craft and art). So why are you reading this? WRITE SOMETHING!
Meanwhile...live, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis