I’ve been going through some soul-searching the past few months, and this has had an effect on my writing. I’m not entirely sure what I want to write about, how I want to write, or even where I want to write. But I’ve always maintained in my mind and my soul that writing is what I want to do, and so I keep doing it.
Writing is something that lingers in my heart. My thoughts must be written down, and when I’m not writing – for whatever bullshit reason I can come up with – I find myself getting itchy. It has to be scratched, and so I write something. I’ve been doing this since 1998. I’ll probably keep on doing it.
A few days ago I got the idea of writing just short pieces, because I had been feeling daunted by the idea of writing longer pieces. So I started that process, turning some questions or some thoughts I had into a couple paragraphs and just letting them go, publishing them and moving on. I’m going to keep on doing that.
But I also read something just now which is essentially the same as what I used to do in the past, which was write 500 words a day, no matter what. It was helpful at the time, but I’d sort of forgotten it or lost interest in it or lost motivation or something. But this reminded me.
I recently heard a story about a novelist who had written over 70 novels. Someone asked him how he was able to write so consistently and remain inspired and motivated every day, as writers are notorious for procrastination and for fighting through bouts of “writer’s block”. The novelist said, “200 crappy words per day, that’s it.” The idea is that if he forced himself to write 200 crappy words, more often than not, the act of writing would inspire him and before he knew it he’d have thousands down on the page.
– Mark Manson
Since this aligns with what I actually want to do, I’m going to take the inspiration and force myself to write at least 200 crappy words a day. Not 500, not 1000… just 200. I’m sure I’ll end up writing more on occasions, but 200 words will be the minimum.
You’ll have to put up with some crap along the way, but hopefully there’ll be some good stuff occasionally that you’ll enjoy.
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