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Sunday, October 02, 2011

“Every writer experiences bad days and sloppy, swampy writing. Sometimes you get the handsome prince and sometimes you get the frog. The point is, no matter what, you show up at the pond. “—Judy Reeves

“Some days are diamonds, some days are stones,” as the old Neil Diamond song goes. That goes for writing, too. But don’t use that as an excuse not to write. Writing every day serves a purpose beyond getting a useable scene or a completed chapter.

Writing every day helps keep the self-consciousness at bay—if you write every day you spend less time worrying about what to say and more time just getting words onto the page.

Writing every day reduces the anxiety of the blank page—facing the blank page every single day is a form of desensitization therapy so that the blank page becomes so common it becomes a part of the landscape.

Writing every single day whether you feel like it or not teaches you to rely on discipline rather than inspiration for motivation—it becomes a habit like brushing your teeth so you no longer think about ‘if’ you should write, you just do it.

And writing every day also teaches you faith. Because sometimes, even on a ‘swampy day’, it’s the prince that shows up and not the frog. I could easily quote a dozen writers who echo this advice, but will restrict myself to just two well known authors:

“Work every day. No matter what has happened the day or night before, get up and bite on the nail.”—Ernest Hemingway

“Write even when you don't want to, don't much like what you are writing, and aren't writing particularly well.”—Agatha Christie

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