A writer is one who writes.

How are you doing with your self-identification as a “writer”? How does that word sit with you? Are you committed to being a writer.

Well, writing happens best when we make it a habit and we make it repeatable. You need to

A) do it consistently

B) do it enough and not too much each day. (Don’t burn out!)

I suggest finding a good minimum number to shoot for each day, either in WORDS or MINUTES.

I started out, way back when, writing for two hours per day. Man, was that hard! And ineffective. I spent so much time sitting there, struggling to have the time go by. I mean, I learned to sit and it grounded me, slowed my world down, but it didn’t need to be as hard as I made it.

When I hear writers say what their goals are, they usually start around one or two hours. That’s A LOT!

Think about the runner who wants to run a marathon: it’s more important how many days she runs than it is how many miles she runs on a given day. What happens to this runner if she starts out shooting for 6 miles a day? Or 6 miles three times a week?

She’ll get injured before she starts to love it, or the pain will bring hate, and she won’t make it to 26 miles.

What about the runner who starts off with a manageable distance, or amount of time, just a few times per week. That runner will build up stamina, increasing distances, and grow to even have fun. That’s the runner I’m betting on to get to 26.2 miles.

For beginners, I usually recommend starting with ten minutes per day as a minimum and shooting for 3-5 days per week. Sure, when Ethan Canin told me this when I got to Iowa, I scoffed. Two hours was my grail at that point, but I’d earned it, worked my way up to that amount of time.

Now I’m older, and I’ve learned more. Life has led me to more times when I had to put writing aside for a time, my “writing muscles” have atrophied, and I’ve had to build back up. I know now how to treat myself with ease and the benefits of doing so.

When you start like this, you can get to the point quickly where you’re doing 20 or 30 minutes, or 200 words per day, and having fun!

That’s the benefit to a manageable—and accountable—practice.

Especially when you’re starting out!

 

Today’s question:

What’s your current practice? Do you have a set goal for yourself?

Mine is currently 5 days a week (at least) for at least 300 words.

How about you? (Be honest!)

About the author : Seth

Published On: 07/10/2024Categories: The PracticeTags: