Alright, so, here’s the necessary post, the one where I give you the most important advice you’ll ever ignore as a writer…the piece of advice you’ll get from every single writer out there who feels happy with themselves as an author…but the piece of advice that doesn’t really mean anything until you actually start doing it.
Write every single day!
Of course…I don’t do this..I take off for weekends and most holidays, and when I just completely don’t have the time…but those are excuses that I shouldn’t have and neither should you.
Now, I know I’ve said most of this before, and I know that you’ve ignored it all before as well (as have I 🙂 ), but now that I’ve got an official spot where I tell you what you need to be doing as a writer, well, here’s where I’m going to tell you, without a single doubt, that you should be constantly creating. Writing is a honed skill. Sure, you may be talented at the craft, perhaps the muses speak to you in ways unimaginable. But you still need to sharpen the sword.
Hey, here’s a joke! :
How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Yeah, I know…old and cheesy, but it’s the truth. No matter what you’re doing, if you want to be a master, you have to practice, and writing is absolutely no different. Just take a look at the difference between my blog posts of a couple years back and my blog posts of today…I honestly spend approximately the same amount of time on them today as I did back then (in fact, I probably spend less today than then), but the quality difference is almost palpable. That’s simply because I’ve been spending nearly every day for years trying to write worthwhile articles within the 1000 word limit. Sure, many may question how great my talents as a blogger are…myself included. You see, I don’t really want to be a blogger… but blogging allows me to work at my art from a few different angles…trying a different medium to tell a story, even if it’s not something I truly put any honest focus into. Also, it allows me to try out some new ideas and see how they flow. And since I’m writing this stuff anyways…why not share it.
But that’s getting off focus…something I’m mighty good at. The focus is you, and writing…and doing it every day (or at least as close as you can get). This isn’t something that is unheard of. Do a google search for “Write Every Day Quotes“…umm. yeah, look I did it for you even. You’ll find that same advice repeated by every single author you’ve ever heard of, and millions more you haven’t. Badbury, Hemingway, King, I mean, the list is limitless…and here’s the thing…authors rarely agree on anything so clearly as this one thing. If you read around, you’ll find that authors all have competing advice about any number of random things, about the rules of novels, about genres, about every single damned thing. But when it comes to the frequency of writing, they all agree. Write every day.
Now…where you’ll begin to see disagreements on that subject is with the why. Some writers believe you should write every day simply so you can get loads and loads of content out in order to find more readers (because more content=more readers). Some believe that you need to write every day so you keep it as a habit, ensuring that you’ll always come back. Honestly, there’s just a lot of reasons given.
I’ve got one I haven’t seen that I think is just as important.
Write every day because it’s your job.
If you want to be an author, as in, someone who legitimately could be carrying business cards with the word Author on them as the title…there’s really only one thing that’s keeping you from giving yourself that title. You. But, if you want to be an author, if you want that to be considered your occupation, you have to think of it as your job, meaning you have to put the effort in. I’ll agree with so many of the reasons out there for writing every day, but I think the most important one is this: Write every day so that you remember that you are, in fact, an author. Once you remember that, so much of the rest of it can fall away, or fall into place.
Yes, you need practice to get better, yes, you need content to get readers, yes to so many of these things, but mostly yes to realizing that if you want this to be your job, you have to make it your job, even if it’s not paying you anything yet.
Step One to being an author is deciding that you are an author, even more than writing a book or publishing a book or whatever, it’s just that decision that you are one. And part of that decision is acting like one. And I think I’ve already showcased that “authors” write daily. So should you.
Now get to work!
And have fun out there!