There’s always a ton of writing advice floating around the internet, and there is certainly no shortage of books on writing. I touched on that a little the other day in talking about a post by John Scalzi. One thing that they almost always have in common is the advice that you “just have to write”. Always be writing.
In all honesty, I should be the last one spouting this advice about. I’m one of those people who hasn’t made it a priority to find make the time to write. That’s the core difference I think. If you think of it as “finding” the time to write, you won’t. If you, instead, think of it as making the time to write, you have a much better chance of actually doing some writing. What you write, I think, doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that you wrote. If, at the very least, you use a daily writing prompt of some sort to push you to write, that is a start. It’s something.
Does it work? Sure it does. Looking back at my experience during NaNoWriMo last year, I can say for sure that it does work. I won. I wrote over 50,000 words in the month of November 2009. Since then, when I didn’t have that extra little bit of external push? I don’t have an official count, but my guess would be something around 10,000 words. In eleven months. Why? Because I haven’t made the effort to write something everyday like I did during NaNo.
As November creeps closer this year, I’m beginning to prepare for NaNo again. Things are busier this year, and I have a number of ready made excuses for not hitting that 50,000 mark. But, I’m going to do it. And then, I’m going to try and finish the year off strong. Maybe not with a 50k a month writing habit, but maybe something like 10,000 words a month. That’s less than 350 words a day. I know that on a slower day in November I easily wrote 1000 words. I can do it.
If you’re serious about becoming a writer, you’ve got to write regularly. Make the commitment to it. Do something like NaNo. November is a busy month, so if it won’t work for you, try it in January or February. Bust your word processors balls and write 50,000 words in a month. I think you’ll be surprised where you make time to write.