For years, I imagined that authors were blessed with a humongous dose of inspiration that drove them to work hard and achieve great things. Now I know differently. Haruki Murakami is a Japanese novelist and runner. In his book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Murakami says:
Even if there were two of me, I still couldn’t do all that has to be done. No matter what, though, I keep up my running. Running every day is a kind of lifeline for me, so I’m not going to lay off or quit just because I’m busy. If I used being busy as an excuse not to run, I’d never run again. I have only a few reasons to keep on running, and a truckload of them to quit. All I can do is keep those few reasons nicely polished.
My life and work changed dramatically when I stopped waiting for inspiration to motivate me. No matter what, I write and I exercise every day. Tired, sick, cranky, busy: I write. I walk. I read. No excuses.
Schedule Your Writing. The best advice I can give a beginning writer—or any writer for that matter—is to make writing an automatic behavior, like brushing your teeth and eating. Before the day is over, schedule your writing times for the next month. You will be most successful if you know when and where you will write each day. If you can, make a list of the writing tasks you will conquer. Try to make these tasks small. Instead of putting “write memoir” on your list, note the scenes you need to complete. Now go forth and write!
Your Turn. What are your tricks and tools for writing every day?