This week, I’m starting a blog series for writers, published and pre-published, called The ABCs of Writing. With each short piece, I will discuss things I feel are important to writing. I’ll start, of course, with A.
A is for ARRIVE.
You can’t be a writer if you don’t arrive—I don’t mean this in the “I have arrived. Don’t you know who I am because I’m sooooo special” kind of way. In fact, that attitude is detrimental to a writer, new or seasoned. What I mean is arrive in the sense of showing up.
To be a successful writer, you have to show up! You need to make a daily, or at least regular, appointment with your work. Follow me here… You can’t be a writer if you don’t write. Am I wrong?
I find it best to have a daily appointment with your work. This is for two reasons.
First, you can’t get words on the page if you don’t sit down to write.
Second, and most important, the longer between writing sessions, the harder it is to write. The process becomes much like pulling teeth. Everything feels bad and clunky. Forced. By writing daily, you get into a rhythm and keep your voice consistent. It’s also easier to remember details for your plot, and it’s less likely you’ll feel the need to rewrite everything.
My suggestion… Determine the best time of day for you to write, and commit to having your but in the chair, typing away, during that time. It doesn’t have to be long. Some people commit a couple hours in the morning or at night. Some people write all day. Or all night. But you might not have that kind of time. I bet you can find at least fifteen minutes to a half hour. Commit to finding that time. Be creative if you have to. Think you’re pressed for time? That you can never write a story with your busy schedule? Consider this: my first published book and my first published story (in True Story magazine) were both written in notebooks, in my car, between appointments for my day job. It can be done. You just need to arrive on the scene, pen in hand or computer at the ready, and get the words onto the page.