Does this sound like you?
You write only when you’ve had enough sleep…caffeine…or when everything is calm in your world.
At least, calmer.
Every few weeks or months, the urge hits you, so you sit down for a binge session, and write or journal for hours — until your fingers cramp. So many amazing ideas pour onto the page. Maybe you even think of a great plot for a novel.
Perhaps you don’t write at all. You’re still waiting for the day when you have more time. Later, when your kids are older, or your job is less demanding, over there’s less stress in your life. You’ll write your book after you retire.
This process will give you exactly…
Not a damn thing.
Your dreams won’t come true this way.
Because writing and publishing take time and commitment. A monster-truck size of both, in fact.
Perfect Never Happens
The perfect time and circumstances aren’t likely to come along in your life. Perfection is a fairytale that doesn’t exist. Perfect resides on a tropical paradise called Someday Isle where many people exist, with thoughts that sound like this:
“Someday, I’ll write that book/poem/short story.”
“Someday, I’ll have enough time to focus on my writing.”
“Someday, I’ll get serious about my craft.”
I believe that perfectionism is a socially-acceptable form of abuse.
Perfect is a myth.
Good writing doesn’t wait for the sun, moon and stars to align just right. The Muse will show up, even when our lives are crazy busy, or just plain crazy, but we have to prove ourselves to her first.
So, how do you ask the Muse to come for a visit? Make a phone call? Mail her an invitation?
Nope. You shut up, sit down and write.
It’s common sense. The more we write on a regular basis, the more serious the Muse takes us and the more she blesses our work. Especially, when we’re struggling with that blank page, a better story line, or even that Gawd-awful rewrite we’ve been working on for years.
Stop waiting for the ideal set of circumstances and start living your dream. Now.
Will your writing be less-than-stellar in the beginning?
Probably. Maybe even for years. That’s reasonable to expect when you’re starting.
Don’t let that possibility discourage you. Would you set a baby on the starting line of a marathon and scream at him to run 26 miles?
No. He can’t even crawl yet.
The same thinking is true for us. We have to carve out time to write, to learn our craft, as well as discover our writing style and voice.
A Much Better ‘P’ for Your Writing
The desire for perfection is the enemy of all writers. It’s simply Fear dressed up in fancy clothing. Forget that ‘P’.
Most writers aren’t naturals anyway.
In order to succeed, we need a new ‘P’ word: Practice.
Practice is a repeated process that becomes a habit. Daily practice is best because it trains your brain faster, but do the best you can. Writing some is better than none. Steal time here and there throughout the week.
Even if you work full-time, have six kids, you can still squeeze out 20 – 60 minutes each day. You can. You just have to be VERY intentional. I mean, vigilant.
I know this for a fact because I started doing this when my kids were three-years-old and a newborn. I’ve completed four full novels since then. My best writing time is 5 – 7 am before the rest of my family is awake and we’re off and running for the day.
How’d I do it?
I turn off Facebook, the TV, and don’t goof around the internet. I let go of commitments that were draining my schedule. You can get a whole lot done in small blocks of concentrated time. If 15 minutes is all you have that day, fine. Crank it out.
That’s how all the masterpieces were written.
One word a time.
Forget the saying, “Practice makes perfect.”
Instead, think, “Practice makes progress.”
That’s much more doable and attainable. Baby steps will lead you anywhere you want to write.
Is waiting for the ‘perfect time’ to write stopping you? If not, what’s your writing schedule look like? Please tell me about it in the comments. If you like this post, please share with friends.
Pick up your FREE copy today of the mystery, The Moon Rises at Dawn (SkipJack Publishing). Read, enjoy, repeat.