Thursday, July 07, 2011

Writing Daily - Just Friggin' Do It

The Clovis Incident: A Mystery (Sasha Solomon Mysteries)A friend of mine with three mysteries published traditionally, Pari Noskin Taichert, decided to take a vow to write fiction every single day, without fail. This last weekend, she reached the one year mark. Now she's headed for two. She's proud of herself. She should be.

I'm a firm believer in writing daily. Have to admit my routine sometimes slips to five to six days per week, especially when I'm attending conferences or traveling. But whether it's nonfiction or fiction, editorials or features, I pen something. But what makes her effort so resounding is the fact it's just fiction. Her head has been completely immersed into her story.

The Socorro Blast: A Sasha Solomon Mystery (Sasha Solomon Mysteries)Some argue that writing daily isn't necessary. One can afford to wait for the muse. Bunk, IMO. Successful writers write in every spare moment, and daily isn't out of the question. Those arguing vehemently against writing daily are often trying to justify their lack of habit.

I think a writer's goal should be to write daily.

The Belen Hitch: A Sasha Solomon Mystery (Sasha Solomon Mysteries)Note I said GOAL. A goal should be a stretch, an effort to make you grow. Like running or exercising everyday. Dieting. See where this is going? If you are strong in your passion, you'll bust your butt to reach that goal. No excuses about kids, work, commute, cooking, or in-laws. You do it or you don't. If you skip a day, you double up the next, or make it a point not to miss a day the following week. You fight to reach that goal.

Runners understand that skipping means losing steam for the upcoming race. They rise out of bed at dawn, groggy, grumpy, and dying to stay under the covers. But they don sneakers and hit the pavement. 

Like dieting and exercising, writing often takes a backseat to writers who don't have a clear vision or solid benchmarks to tackle. No race to train for.

Let's say you have no book in you right now. Write short stories. Write from a daily prompt. Write poetry. Just don't write all of them, bouncing around from rock to rock in a stream, never reaching the other side.

Unless writing isn't a priority. Everyone can't make writing a priority. Everyone can't write daily. As a result, they cannot expect to be JA Konrath, Amanda Hocking, Jodi Picoult or Stephen King. As I've always said, there's nothing accidental about writing success. You fight hard to grab it, or you decide that's not in your nature. Just don't pretend you're dedicated when you are not. And if you're not, enjoy the hobby and quit burdening yourself with dreams of the NYT Bestseller List.

I think the best freedom in life is deciding who and what we are.

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Books by Pari Noskin  Taichert:

 The Clovis Incident: A Mystery (Sasha Solomon Mysteries)
The Socorro Blast: A Sasha Solomon Mystery (Sasha Solomon Mysteries)
The Belen Hitch: A Sasha Solomon Mystery (Sasha Solomon Mysteries)

7 comments:

Michelle said...

Yeah, I have to admit... unless I have a wedding on... or something that has me booked up for the day... I'll be writing something. At the moment it's assignments ;P

Michelle Betham said...

What an inspiring post! I try and write something every day, even if it's just a blog entry or a short story, or even notes on my current book, and I'll never forget something somebody once said to me when I first started writing seriously - writers write, others make excuses not to. :)

Mary Ellen Carmody said...

Great advice for any writer. But sometimes I feel like the "Little Engine That Could" I try, I try, I try....

Keri said...

Love the running analogies...so very true!

Stacy S. Jensen said...

I've been looking at my life for the next six months and working in deadlines to submit to keep me motivated. Otherwise, I let life take over and nothing is written.

Karen Lange said...

Writing every day is my goal, and I do, usually. I've even found myself jotting something down in the grocery store or in church, which always translates into writing when I get home...

Sioux said...

I read once how one writer always wrote at least once page before he peed in the morning upon waking up. He admitted that sometimes it was a very fast page...