09 April 2012

Writing as Habit: Not a Job, Not a Chore

Remember, a page a day equals a book a year. Now there aren’t too many writers around who create a book a year. . . . But it’s not the outcome that is most important, it’s the method: one page per day.

The page doesn’t have to be good or interesting or worthy of publication. What that page (250 words, one double-spaced piece of paper) does is to feed your habit as a writer. You want writing to become a habit, not a job, not a chore, not a responsibility; not something you do every month or so, but something you do every day.

If you exercise a half hour a day, you will be a very fit person. If you write every day (and forgive yourself those occasions when you don’t), you will become a very fit writer. Now get to writing!

— Roy Peter Clark

Painting: Pablo Picasso

See also: The Race, The Swift and the Finish Line

19 comments:

  1. Absolutely right, a page a day makes one write well and keeps them in great writing shape :)

    http://sulekharawat.com/2012/04/09/how-do-i-define-magic/

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  2. I totally agree! A writing habit will sustain, where the muse does not always!

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  3. Hi Sulekkha, Thanks for stopping by. I have to agree with you. I promise to visit your site and share some ideas.

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  4. Lara, sometimes our muse may abandon us. We need a method to summon her. For me, if I keep reading, she keeps visiting.

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  5. Hi Meena, I read your poem, "Sky Child." I can feel the moon's energy. Let the reign of the goddess begin!

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  6. Hi Gary:
    When I was writing fiction I'd lock myself in my office and write five pages a night. That gave me excellent discipline and now that I'm only writing my blog, it's a piece of cake to write a couple of pages a week.

    You're correct. Writing shouldn't be a chore. Happily for me it never was.
    --
    Chris

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  7. Chris, We are often reminded to do what we love. It sounds like you and I both love to write.

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  8. Thanks for the reminder...going to go write :)

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  9. Thanks for the visit yesterday. Love the Picaso and if writing is a chore you are probably in the wrong profession.
    dreamweaver

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  10. Hi Beth! I'm glad I motivated you. Happy writing!

    Debra, you are too funny. But you are absolutely right. We have to love what we do.

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  11. Great post, Gary! Indeed, getting into the "habit" of writing every day is a fantastic step into becoming a better writer. Thanks for sharing, and for dropping by my blog earlier today. Loved your thoughtful comments :)

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    1. Hi Guilie, always nice to see you.

      You're the first person I'm responding to with the new threaded post comments. Now the comments and replies will be a little more organized.

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  12. Oh, so true. Great post, Gary :) What is it they say? "Practice makes perfect", so the more you write the better you'll be at it.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Maria. You certainly got the idea. Now, if I could just execute on my own advice!

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  13. This is a nice reminder, Gary. I agree that regular practice gets results. I have to confess, I don't write every single day, but most days I do, and when I do, I can see the improvement and the progress. It's a mindset, really.

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  14. Just reread the info in your margin, where you ask for "snippet suggestions". How about something to do with Sherlock Holmes? I'd really love to see that!

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  15. Elizabeth, here is a direct quote from Sherlock Holmes. Here is a link a snippet from one of my favorite Holmes stories, A Study in Scarlet.

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  16. Thanks for the snippets on Holmes, Gary. I read A Study in Scarlet and enjoyed it so much. Doyle sure knew what he was doing.

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