On Writing

Still, I’ve never read that Stephen King book. On Writing. Maybe it would help with my problem, but most likely not. Because I know what I need to do already, I just haven’t done it yet. Writing has never come easily to me. Self-discipline is what I need. I need to write when I am uninspired. It’s just not natural. But I need it to be my second nature if I’m going to continue to call myself a writer.

While flipping through Mason Currey’s new book Daily Rituals, I became distraught with guilt and frustration. After a few days of browsing, I couldn’t enjoy the book anymore because, rather than inspire me to become a creature of habit, it made me realize everything I do wrong. The book seemed to show that to become a successful author (or maybe to be successful at all), one must fall into 1. a destructive lifestyle of no sleep and excess of drugs and alcohol, or else 2. become a self-disciplined person who sets goals and actually meet those goals most days. Number two sounds pretty good to me, but how to get there? According to the book’s recordings of some successful authors (the ones who weren’t falling into booze and partying), you must 1. get up at relatively the same time each morning (this involves self-discipline), 2. set a goal to meet each day (this involves consistency- something else I need to work on desperately), and 3. go to bed around the same time each night, getting a decent amount of sleep (obviously, these artists and writers didn’t have the endless Netflix temptation—their temptations erred on the booze and partying side. Although, I probably couldn’t resist a night out-on-the-town with Hemingway, either … ).

It sounds simple enough. Set a goal, work a few minute (a half hour? a whole hour?) each day to try and meet that goal. But in the swing of life, especially a life like mine that involves a mish-mosh of three part-time jobs that have differing schedules, this isn’t simple. It isn’t easy. Yet, I’m going to try it anyways. Because I want to be a writer, goshdarnit!!! Being a writer involves sacrificing frivolity for reading good books and responding to them in writing. Writing what you want, writing what you know, writing anything and everything. I know I can spend an evening fictionally out on the town with Hemingway in one of his novels instead of watching that Rom Com (I’ll regret anyway) that’s tempting me from my “recommended for you” screen. Goodbye Netflix, hello writer’s life. For now, at least.

So, for the month of August I am setting a goal I know I can accomplish. I must write for 15 minutes—an hour each day. It must be something for you all to read, or else something for my church’s blog (blog.jpusa.org—I have one published post already). I’m hoping in August you will see the fruits of this change. Maybe after a month, writing a few minutes a day will have become a habit. I know it won’t be easy, but it’s something I feel I must do. I’ll keep you all updated

Summer is almost over!
My next post will be about Chicago summers and why I love them.

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