Truth be told, I’ve had little story ideas for years. Many of my friends have also had some really great ideas for stories for years, even decades. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve hung out with people that I’ve gone on communal tirades over how modern authors suck and how the movie industry doesn’t say anything that truly speaks to the soul; all with some exceptionally vague plan to one day set it all right with our obviously vastly superior abilities.
Yet, nothing has come to fruition. NOTTA! Zip, zilch, nothing. And that’s not just for me, that’s for everyone I know (save that one over productive asshole that makes everyone look bad). And the sad fact is that I know exactly why.
You see, the truth is quite simple and it’s probably the most often heard and truest single piece of advice out there: writers write.
It is SO true. A guy writing 10 shitty stories will be much more of a writer than the guy that talked about an amazing plot idea. A guy that sits down to write that great story after years of putting it off will be more likely to fall into typical pitfalls so many authors hit like land mines than the guy that’s been consistently writing every day and figuring out not only which ways work best to write, but perhaps even more importantly, which ways don’t work at all.
The key, then, is quite clear: write every day. EVERY DAY.
WRITE EVERY DAY
Many authors have a specific set time they get up and write. Perhaps they write for 4 hours a day. If you’re holding down a job like me, maybe you only get 30 minutes or an hour in before you go to work. Other writers have word counts they have to hit before they can stop. 2000 words maybe or 3 pages of work. Who knows. There’s tons of ways out there, but large or small the one truth remains: they write no matter what.
Those same authors also caution against the devil muse or the pitfall so many people make of waiting to be inspired. Writing, they say, is a muscle that must be flexed and worked out. It’s a craft and real work that is refined over time, not some mysterious magic that just falls out of your fingers like some Harry Potter spell. You write crap and write more crap, and hopefully over time, it becomes less and less crap. It’s like playing a sport. You have to practice and get better instead of just showing up for the game and being awesome.
For me, while holding down a job and generally having a life, that’s a challenge. I’m doing it as I’ve got several rotating times of around an hour to 2 hours every day that I write something, even if it sucks.
But it’s tough. I’ve got to cook, eat, work out, go to work, actually work, clean, bath, deal with a girlfriend, deal with pets….and that’s before you even get to all the internet porn that has to be watched. There’s so little time left over to write.
But writer’s write, so I write and cut in on sleep if I need to do so.
I also have developed some writing partners that will review my work, meaning I have to get say at least a couple of thousand words a week done. That puts some needed pressure on me to get it done.
Still, I’d like to know how other people handle this one fundamental issue. How do yo find time and make yourself write?
**I don’t actually have pets or a girlfriend but I needed them for the bit. I find that authorly.