The Number 1 Way to Keep Writing, No Matter What

The task of writing daily is one with which we writers struggle.

As a publisher the consequences of not writing every day often shows itself quickly in manuscripts. Contrived plots, cliched language and run-on sentences are hallmarks of writers lacking a certain kind of writing commitment.

But as a serious writer you have vowed to improve your craft, no matter what. You write and write and write, until you don’t.

The plot line that once kept you up at night has become bogged down, and you’re bored. When you think about writing, your eyes cloud over. Laundry or washing the floor on your hands and knees becomes oh so much more fascinating than writing.

The old canard about inspiration driving you through the next writing block takes over. You stop writing. One day leads to three. Then six or nine months have elapsed without a word coming forth from you.

So here’s how to overcome boredom.

Fall in love with the outcome, with the you who will be a writer who writes everyday. In the battle between your future self and your present self, boredom becomes easier to address when you have your future self in mind. When you hear the siren’s call in your mind urging to stop writing, ask yourself, “will I harm my future self if I don’t write today?”

We become our future writing selves by small, daily actions of ass-in-seat-pen-on-paper/fingers-on-keyboard. The words need not be executed perfectly. In fact, you may write total dreck on many days, especially when you are bored. Over a long period, quite counterintuitively, you will have actually executed your writing perfectly, which is to say you have written every day. A good writing habit can stand a lot of daily screwing up as long as the months and years are executed flawlessly. (Hint: writing everyday for a year is flawless execution.)

Next time writing fills you with dread, imagine the you of the future, a person who will have written everyday. Then get to it.