Out of all of the misconceptions I’ve had about writing, debunking this one proved most valuable.
Thinking back, it’s such a easy thing to believe. Writing seems so mysterious and magical when done correctly. In fact, I don’t know for how long I had envisioned the life of a successful author going something like this…
… lounging around in his robe, sipping coffee from the steaming mug cupped in his hands. Out of nowhere, ideas pile drive themselves into his head. He can’t reach a computer fast enough and from morning til lunch, pumps out 40 pages of literary perfection. He finishes the chapter with an extremely witty one liner, closes the laptop and leans back to finish his cup of brew, still steaming and lovely and mmmmm.
As such, I tried to replicate this scenario… with very little success. By very little, I mean that my most effective session consisted of checking Gmail multiple times per minute and constantly tweaking my “Writing Music: Attempt 102” playlist.
Eventually, I sort of gave up. I had no “good” ideas and was at a loss on how to compile the few plot scraps I did have. With nothing else to do, I patiently awaited a muse to rescue me from the Internets…
Good writing comes from lots of writing.
Not a magical pixie, “woo woo” forces or Gandalf. It may give me warm fuzzies to think of writing in this way, but those evil fuzzies also keep me from accomplishing anything.
Writing is hard and it is work.
Sure, there are some days where you channel Isaac Asimov, in the zone, words flowing like liquid gold onto the page.
However, there are also days where you glare at the blank page, rewrite the same sentence 40 times and end with only a paragraph of vomit to show for your day of forced extraction and Gmail checking.
But that’s okay… as long as you do it again the next day.
That’s the grand epiphany folks.
Instead of waiting at the starting line for a piggy back from Usain Bolt, just start running. Even if all you muster is a crawl, it will do.
If you never stop moving, never stop eeking your way to the finish line, Usain Bolt will find you. In that moment, you’ll float, aches and pains fleeing as you glide effortlessly down the track faster than ever before.
Savor those moments because tomorrow, you’re on your own.
As a novice in the writing world, I want to hear from you. How do you conquer the days where your mind wants to focus on everything but writing?
In return, I will pass a long a few things that have helped me: