This problem of developing the Daily Writing habit can manifest itself in many forms and can take control of a writer’s mind as a vice like grip of fear that destroys any chance of accomplishing a word count target.
Fear. That’s what the problem is and always is. It’s just that we often don’t recognise Fear all of the time. It can manifest itself in subtle ways that we miss and then as the writing hours spin by and we accomplish nothing we set out to do, we feel even worse about ourselves than when we first wanted to begin writing that day.
Our problem is that we failed to remember something important.
To write indicates that we are setting out on the path to art. That’s right,and we hope to produce something worthwhile that may give us an indication of how close we came to being an artist through our story writing. A mistake young artists often make is that they need to identify with being an artist or writer to be able to compensate for the lack of experience in the activity.
The best way to do that is to think like a writer and dress like one, and then do what writers do – go to a bar and discuss writing and art with friends. Just do all those things that we believe writers do. The stuff we’ve seen on television and read in books where the main character is a writer. She has to be busy in the story and interact with other characters to make the story roll. The story must be interesting. The main character who is a writer isn’t writing, that would be boring for the reader.
Writing is very interesting but it doesn’t make for good story to read how a person wakes up in the morning and sits at a keyboard and taps away at it all day long. We can’t see what’s happening in the persons head. They are deeply involved in an activity which requires total attention and focus that cannot be shared with others. The results of our time spent at the keyboard and the time spent mulling over writerly problems that only we as individuals can solve and then order into coherent storyline, will finally be shared with others.
We often forget that to write a book is to set out to climb a mountain. From the foot of the mountain it may look like a small hump of 1500 metres but as we climb, we begin to discover that there are crevices and walls and slopes and snags that we couldn’t have known about from our ground point of view. The hump just became a mountain and the real challenge has now begun. We are up to it. If only we could find the discipline to sit down every single day and type those 1000 words.
1000 words a day will be 7000 a week and that’s 28,000 a month. That means a first draft in three to four months, depending on what we think a good novel length is. Broken down, it all seems so simple. And when you actually begin to write daily and see the word count rise and the flesh of story begin to take shape, it works like rocket fuel in your tank.
You no longer think about the problem of sitting silently and tapping at the keyboard – how boring – but your mind becomes engrossed in the task of creation. We begin to devise little tricks to ensure that we can start again tomorrow without hindrance or delay.
Finishing the last sentence of the day at a point that leaves us in suspense, where we know that we want to finish it now but must wait till the morning, will ensure our speedy rise to the task first thing and give us a feeling like we really do have rocket fuel in our tanks.
When we are actually writing our story, our minds are bound to the details and we have immersed ourselves into a world that we created and believe in. How can we leave that world when it is ours and we feel comfortable in it?
We can’t. We must keep going, keep tapping at the keys and let our thoughts roll and tumble to create new things that become real things and that one day our readers will accept as real things.
So, the answer to how to make yourself write everyday, tough as it seems, is simple.
Remember that suspenseful last line from last night. Sit down and start writing from that point and you will forget all the important crap that was stopping you from sitting down to write 1000 words today.