“That Is Why No One Will Remember Your Name.”

Consistency is key. Writing in spurts is a sure-fire way to ensure that your work won’t get finished until years down the road. Writing each day, even just a little bit, helps establish the habit of writing consistently and allows you to progress your story at a steady pace. Ernest Hemingway would write 500 words per day. He would go until he either met his goal or exceeded it. He would also stop only when he knew what would happen next in the story so he knew right where to pick it up the next day.

Now, I’m no Ernest Hemingway and I don’t claim to be, but I do try to maintain that consistency even though it can be incredibly difficult because, well, life happens. I aim to achieve 500 words per day and when I actually write I tend to hit that mark. I don’t aim for my writing to be perfect, it’s going to have to be edited no matter what, but I’m not concerned about the editing yet as I haven’t even finished the first draft. There will be plenty of time for editing later. If I’m struggling through a chapter or scene and need to get it finished but writing 500 words seems like climbing Everest, then I’ll write 200 or even 100 words, just something to make progress so I’m not still back where I was the day before. Every mile run starts with the first step. It’s getting something on the page.

For many writers, myself included, the hard part isn’t the writing; it’s committing yourself to actually sitting down and writing. It’s the anxiety you get at the thought of sitting down to write with the other sharp edge of the sword being the anxiety you experience when you’re not writing. Yes, thinking about and mapping out your story is an essential part of writing, but it means nothing if all that work stays in your head. You need to get it down on paper, on a computer screen, hell, even on a page from a typewriter, but you need to physically write. The most difficult part is making the time and committing yourself to write something. Anything. No masterpiece was written in one day. Shitty novels aren’t even written in one day. Doing something small every day will help you get it done.

I say this in regards to anything that is important to you: if it is actually important enough to you, you may not have the time for it but you will make the time for it. You really want to lose weight? You’ll wake up a half-hour earlier to get a workout in. You really want to finish that novel? You’ll wake up an hour earlier to work on that trouble chapter. Everyone has an excuse as to why they couldn’t do something but no one ever remembers the person who didn’t accomplish something. Write that down.


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