As I mentioned in my last post, I am in fact writing this post during the lunch break of a Writer's Workshop, so it will be brief but hopefully influential. There have only been a couple of sessions so far, but the vibe I am getting from the facilitators is that there are two kinds of writers: The ones who see writing as an ongoing process toward some greater purpose, and everyone else.
Whatever the catalyst may have been, this starts a process that writers all understand on some level: Writing is an exercise in self-investment. You will reap dividends in line with how much effort you put into it. If you just write occasionally, you will progress at a slow, steady rate. However, the more you write, the more time you dedicate to creating and improving your work, the more you will be able to accomplish. So simple, yet so often overlooked. On that note, here are three tips to help motivate you to get better returns from self-investment.
- The more you read, the more you write. Give yourself a chance to read different things, explore different subjects, and consume all kinds of pose and poetry. This doesn't necessarily improve your writing skills immediately, but it will push you toward trying to create things similar to what you've read.
- The more you write, the more you write. This seems obvious, but it's more than just a statement. As you find yourself getting into the habit of writing regularly, your mind starts processing things differently and you see the world in a narrative form. I have writer friends who have committed themselves to this to the point where an idea will come to mind and they have to jot something down as soon as possible because their creative mind now demands it. Literally demands it. That is a truly dedicated writer, and they got this way by turning writing into a lifestyle.
- Writing is a habit, not a goal. When someone sets out to write a book, it's an admirable task. However, the best books don't come from someone who said, "I want to write a book; what should it be about?" but rather, "I want to explore this story idea and see what comes of it." In the latter case, the goal is an ongoing process that just happens to create a novel as part of it. Life continues on after that, and more ideas come to life, but the product is often a result, not the objective.
Speaking of which, I need to quickly publish this and get back to the conference. And I guarantee you that come Monday, my mind and blog will be bubbling with ideas as a result of everything I hear today and tomorrow. And I can also assure you that in the midst of all this inspiration, I will also do a little writing.